It’s amazing how many times we know the right thing to do, yet we fail to do it. I think w all have those times in our lives where we need to take action and we are reluctant to do so.
Over my career, I have been fortunate to work with quite a few executives and sooner or later we come to a point where they reach a crossroad. They have to make a difficult choice and are reluctant to do so. Our inability to make choices stem from fear and uncertainty. This can cost a company dearly because placing your business in a holding pattern can lead to lost sales, wasted time, and increased costs.
As leaders, we need to be able to make educated choices and act. Here’s some steps to help you:
- Discovery: Why is this choice difficult? What is holding you back? Understand the reason why you are not willing to pull the trigger. Is it from lack of information, failure to see the ROI, fear of how others will react, or making a life-changing decision for someone else.
- Work a Solution: once you know the root cause, you can begin working on a way to solve it. List your possible solutions. If it is related to a significant investment, what information do you need to determine if the investment is worth taking. If it is dealing with conflict, how will you engage the people affected by the decision in order to work through it rationally? If it is a change in staff, how can you make the outcome the best possible?
- Get Advice: For some reason, people can be afraid to ask for help. It is perceived as a sign of weakness. Speaking with a mentor, colleague, advisor, or coach can help you work through theses challenges. Applying a little more gray matter can help you make a better choice.
- Prepare: If it is a difficult decision that might create conflict, such as changing someone’s job responsibility, figure out a way to make the best of the situation. Address what questions they could ask. Know what their hot buttons might be. Figure out how to engage them in the conversation. Most importantly, figure out how to make the outcome, as negative as it may seem, the best possible. Many times it’s our own behaviors that create the negative outcomes we a trying to avoid.
- Act! Work through your own insecurities and confidence issues and take action. If you are well-prepared, you will more often than not make the right decision. Remember, you control at least 50% of the situation. So make sure you are in control of you!
- Follow Up: Be there and be accountable for your part of the decision. People will respect your choice if you are enrolled and don’t pass the buck. Stick to your word. Follow through on your commitments. Be visible. Communicate.
Throughout our lives we will make tough choices. Your character will be challenged from time to time. How you handle it is totally up to YOU!