How to Make Better Leadership Decisions

In today’s business climate, leaders need to hone their decision-making abilities more than ever.  Unfortunately, not all leaders excel at making decisions even though they have been put in a position to do so. In fact, many leaders struggle with decisiveness in making timely decisions according to McKinsey and the reality is that businesses cannot afford to stand still.

Decisions have ripple effects, and that can make the process of deciding quite emotionally taxing and risky. Some leaders obsess over details. Others worry about the choices they see before them. They procrastinate and fail to delegate or include others in the decision-making process and they take too much time and energy to reach their conclusions. Other leaders delegate too fast or make fast, poorly researched decisions. 

Being decisive is a critical skill if you are a leader and bear with me here. Decision making is not a purely rational undertaking. Tapping into your intuition, logic and emotions is needed. Decisiveness requires you to combine several traits into a mechanism that allows you to act with responsibility, confidence and in a timely manner for the benefit of your people and your organization.

If you are a leader who struggles with decision making, here are the steps you can take to improve this skill.

Leverage Emotional Intelligence in Your Decision-Making Process

Emotional intelligence is your ability to tap into your self-awareness as well as the moods of the people around you and the circumstances you find yourself in. This is where you also need to tune in to your own emotions. For example, what is your mood like? Are you tired or angry, and are you allowing those emotions to influence your decisions?

As we navigate the new world of work, it is natural that any number of stressors can be at play. However, when you work to become self-aware and emotionally intelligent, you can prevent unconscious biases, or the effects of exhaustion that can influence your choices. It is all about balance.

Here are some additional tips for you to leverage your self-awareness that will enable you to make more timely and well thought out decisions:

  • Meditation increases self-awareness and can have a positive impact on your EQ.
  • Tune into how you are feeling and how that might impact your thinking, emotions, and your decisions. 
  • Start a daily journal. The process of writing down how you feel helps clear your mind.
  • Pay attention to other people’s emotions and what they say and do. 

Don’t Get Caught in Analysis Paralysis

Make it a habit of using the process of elimination in your decision making. If necessary, reach out and ask for help. A good rule of thumb is to only decide once you have your options narrowed down to three or less options.

Trust Your Gut

When it comes to decision making, your intuition should never be underestimated. Your experience and wisdom are always working for you in the background, and when you have a choice to make, these qualities manifest as the intuitive feeling experienced in your “gut.”

As you navigate the changed workplace, you can still make sound decisions if you use the tools suggested, be self-aware and work to understand how emotions play into your work decisions. By giving yourself a fresh perspective every day through journaling and watching and listening to others, you will be rewarded with making decisions that not only feel right but work for your team and your organization.

Do You Struggle with Making Decisions?

As a leader, making decisions comes with the territory, and if you struggle with decisiveness, you will probably struggle with leadership, but there is a lot you can do to change the outcome.

What are some of the obstacles you have faced around making decisions as a leader? How have you dealt with them? I’m curious to hear what you think. Please reach out to me at 855-871-3374, or email me at joanne.trotta@leadersedgeinc.ca and let’s talk!



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