Decision quality doesn’t necessarily have to mean, decisions with a successful outcome, however, success is a bonus! The quality of a decision depends on the amount of opinions and suggestions considered before making an apt decision in spite of the constraints of information and time available. Along with vital leadership competency skills, wisdom, judgment, intuition and experience are all the major components in making effective and efficient decisions. Decisions have to be implementable in nature and with careful consideration of factors that may affect your organization.
Following are some leadership competencies intertwined with some tips that can help you,
as leaders, to not only make quick decisions but accurate ones as well.
- Being fair: Like it or not we are all biased towards something or another. However, when it comes to making decisions there is no place for partiality. Ask yourself if your leadership competencies are biased towards certain ideas, people, gender or groups. Make a list of them and keep it as a point of reference to check for interference in the process of making important decisions. You may also be prejudiced towards a particular solution that you may use time and again to solve a wide range of problems. Singular solution to multiple problems could make only the surface of the problem to temporarily disappear, but increases the chance of relapse.
- Analytical Thinking: If you have analytical attributes in your leadership competencies, you know the importance of analyzing problems thoroughly before coming to a conclusion. In an organization, a little to no decision is self dependent and because of the interdependencies of decisions, any wrong decision can cause a chain reaction affecting various departments. Therefore, it is important to carefully examine the problem at first before moving on to look for a solution. Segregate the whole problem into spectacles of problems, probably on a flow chart. Recognize the foundation of the problem and find solution to each microscopic problem.
- Recognize faults in your thought process: The competencies of leadership are complex and leadership is much more. Being a leader gives you a great deal of responsibilities and therefore, thinking from point A to point B is just not going to make the cut. Every department in an organization is interlinked to one another, and any fault in one will create a dominos effect! Thoroughly inspect the cause and effect of a decision before jumping the gun to decide if it was right or wrong because an error in judgment could cause various other implications to the workings of your organization.
- Historic analysis: Even the most competent leaders often make mistakes but the real measure of leadership competencies is reflection on previous mistakes, recognizing them and then analyzing them meticulously. Chalk out the list of decisions you have made and deduce areas where you made mistakes. Recognizing faults will allow you to seek help in those key areas in decision making which will further develop your leadership competency skills.
- Gear up: Most leaders are required to make quick decisions with the little amount of time and information presented to them with the help of their leadership competency skills. However, they get so focused on the problem in hand and the ardency to find a solution that they don’t quite care about the amount of information available. You must keep trying to gather more information parallel to the process of problem solving because the more information you have, the better the final decision would turn out to be. Don’t waste precious time waiting around for information and procrastinate the decision making process, both processes must work in symmetry. Assign a task force to gather up data while you work alongside with your team to find acceptable decisions.
- Listen to your gut: Over the years of developing leadership competency skills, you must have learnt a thing about the difference of good decisions and bad ones for your business. However, in stressful situations you might forget the hows in distinguishing between the two. While you are making a make it or break it kind of decision, apart from the little nervousness, if your gut is telling you something is wrong, then go back and analyze the decision again. Your subconscious, not so stressed out self, can see things clearer than you can!
- Put more minds to it: Decision making is a complex task because every decision implemented is the root cause to a change, both negative and positive. It is definitely a difficult task to pull off as a one man show because of the amount of intricate analysis, research and time that goes into the process of decision making. Involve more people like your direct reports and your higher ups into the task with objective opinions. Run researches of similar problems that were faced by other firms and how they solved it. It could help you derive an idea for a solution and also a point of reference. Delegate task forces to gather as much data as they can in the little time you have. Take criticisms, ideas, opinions and feedback from everybody as they come because it will help you articulate your ideas based on different ideologies.
- Learn from top leaders: Leaders with the highest number of proven leadership competencies are often the role models of major decision makers in organizations. Read their biographies and autobiographies and learn about their decision making patterns. Most organizations make their leadership competency lists with a diluted version of the competencies of these top leaders of the world. Their decision making abilities, processes and strategies are key in learning the ‘hows, whys and whats’ of making quality decisions.
- Space it out and take a break: If you are attributed with leadership competencies and you work on its development so much so that it sinks into your personality, then your work becomes a major part of your life. However, when too much of anything is on your mind, your level of efficiency slows down. You can’t remember all the factors that would cause you to miss out on important details, tasks and maybe even your target audience. Don’t let the decision making process consume you so much so that you drown in it. Instead, take regular breaks and do things completely different or even sleep on it. It is a scientific fact that your decision making abilities are at its peak when you wake up!
The most vital leadership competency of all is the architecture of your decision making process. To be a competent leader, you must understand that the quality of the decisions are what supersedes the quantity of decisions that you make. Incorporating the little tips above could help you succeed in the process.