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UNDERCOVERCOACH


Making Difficult Decisions


THE UNDERCOVERCOACH SUGGESTS THAT DIFFICULT DECISIONS CAN SOMETIMES BE DOUBLE TROUBLE. MAKING THE DECISION CAN BE VERY HARD AND THEN COMMUNICATING THE DECISION CAN BE HARDER STILL. HERE THE COACH OFFERS SOME TIPS ON HOW WE CAN IMPROVE OUR DECISION MAKING AND THEN IN THE NEXT EDITION HE TAKES A LOOK AT ‘COMMUNICATING DIFFICULT DECISIONS’ Decision making has always


fascinated me. No more so than when I was doing some research into how really good Boards and Committees make their decisions, for example by getting a majority vote or reaching a consensus and so on.


WE CAN DECIDE NOT TO DECIDE


My research uncovered something unexpected. I learned that not making a decision was also a decision i.e. the decision not to decide. We can, for example, decide not to decide right now, or not to decide for the time being. Now in the past I would have judged people who do not decide as being ‘indecisive’ people. I now understand that we can decide to be indecisive!


On a more serious note we could be at the mercy of a board or committee where one or more members are very happy not to decide on an issue that is important to us. Having a strong case or merit in our argument for something we need at work is of no earthly use if someone in our decision making body is holding up a decision we need.


Often this approach permits people to say ‘no’ without actually having to justify their refusal. They can get by with statements like ‘I’m not sure’, ‘I need more time’ or ‘I need more data’.


This reluctance is understandable given there is some research that says most people make decisions based on a ‘gut feel’ with less than 10% of them basing their decisions on objective, quantifiable data. Perhaps if people used a better decision making process they might decide more quickly and still have the courage of their convictions. Let us look at a straightforward but effective process.


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