Recently I found myself sitting around a table involved in a "hardy and dramatic discussion" about a business decision that had to be made; in the end, this particular decision did not go the way I had hoped.
Experience has shown me that the decision making process is usually a mixture of "hardy and dramatic discussion", facts and figures, risk tolerance, gut feel and a smidgen of "hope" - And must lead to making an "actual decision"!
It is always tough being on the wrong end of a decision; at the very least, it can challenge your conviction or belief systems and at the very most, your livelihood. As I reflect back on the dynamics around the table, I thought I would share some thoughts:
- Although decisions are made based on facts and figures (data if you will), the ability to communicate the information is key. It is with effective communication that a clear understanding is articulated, pros and cons weighed, and the risk of making the wrong decision is minimized. The phrase "being on the same page" comes to mind.
- The decision making process is different for everyone; how they process information, the speed in which they make a decision, their risk tolerance, or the circumstances for needing to make a decision. It is important to understand the circumstances requiring a decision, as well as how the people involved make their decisions - This way you can work within their "decision making comfort zone". My experience is when a person is outside their comfort zone they will either delay the decision or default to a "no".
- Once a decision is made you need to respect it, even when you disagree.
- You need to support the decision to the best of your ability once it's made. If you fundamentally cannot support the decision, you need to be clear on your position... there may be consequences, but you will be respected for it.
- Decisions need to be made to drive action; even a wrong decision is preferable to a non-decision or an endless decision making process. You can always "course correct" a wrong decision, but not much can be done with a non-decision.
As I look back at the decision made around the table, which as I say did not go the way I had hoped, I do respect that it was made; I have also taken on an interesting perspective - "Unless proven wrong, they made the right decision".
So there you have it, I have made the decision to prove them wrong.