7 Tips for Making Quality Business Decisions

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Unfortunately, decision making can be difficult. It is impossible to predict whether the decision you are about to make will yield incredible results or create a situation that requires damage control.

A McKinsey & Company survey found that only 20% of respondents say their organizations excel in decision making. Although it is a discordant statistic, there are effective ways in which entrepreneurs can improve the quality of their decision-making process.

1. Consider your mood

In today’s world, there is a lot of pressure to move forward quickly, and decision making is no exception. It is important to keep in mind that we are not always at our best mental or emotional time to make decisions. If you feel agitated, scared, or angry, you can make a hasty decision that could have lasting negative consequences.

If you think your emotional state is off, take a moment to clear your head. Deep breathing, exercise, and meditation are great activities to improve your overall mood and can better prepare you for the decision-making process.

Related: How to regain work-life balance

2. Carefully assess the situation and the data

The information before us does not always tell the whole story. Making decisions based on incomplete information can lead you to make the wrong decision. Take the time to evaluate the whole situation carefully. Be curious and ask lots of questions to make sure you have all the information you need to make a good decision.

Data can be your best friend and worst enemy when it comes to making decisions. Beware of information overload. A survey found that 44% of people found it difficult to make decisions due to the large amount of data. And you don’t want to make a decision based solely on quantitative data. There are other factors such as human emotion that are difficult to translate into data.

Related: How to use the right data to make effective business decisions

3. Review the desired results

In his best-selling book, The 7 habits of highly effective people, Dr. Stephen Covey urges his readers to “start with the end in mind.” Decision making becomes much easier when you know that your choices will bring you one step closer to achieving your strategic goals or objectives. Before making any decisions, take a moment to review your personal goals or the company’s mission statement. If the decision reinforces your goals, it is a good indication of the path you should follow.

Related: If you want a better result, do better actions

4. Identify your blind spots

Blind spots are areas where you do not have enough skills, knowledge or experience that can negatively influence your decision making. For example, deciding to merge with another company without a solid understanding of contract law could be a disaster. Ask a friend or business partner to help you identify your weaknesses or blind spots. Better yet, join a board of colleagues with non-competing business owners. This will help you proceed with more caution the next time you have to make a decision that involves one of your blind spots.

Related: 10 Reasons Why Leading Entrepreneurs Join a Peer Advisory Board

5. Include others in the decision-making process

While entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs are solely responsible for the success or failure of their businesses, they do not have to make decisions alone. In many cases, you can take advantage of the support of other professionals (such as senior executives, human resources, lawyers, CPAs, etc.). Having other people involved in the decision-making process can bring new perspectives that you may not have considered.

Related: How to make better decisions

6. Just make a decision

While it’s important to make sure you’ve carefully considered all of your options before making a decision, inaction is often worse than making the wrong decision. You have to make a decision one way or another.

A good strategy is to consider the worst that can happen. If the worst case scenario is something you can live with, at least you will feel confident that you can remedy the situation if it does not work as you expected.

Related: 6 easiest ways to make difficult decisions as a leader

7. Communicate your decisions

Once a decision has been made, it is critical to ensure that all affected people are informed of the direction you have chosen. The way you communicate your decisions can affect the way they are received. Some delivery methods are better than others. For simple decisions, an email or a note will work fine. However, difficult decisions that require detailed explanations may be more appropriate to give in a face-to-face meeting.

Related: 10 steps for quality CEO decision making

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