decision making

November 2, 2010

Tough Management Decisions

As they say ‘the buck stops here’.

For managers, there is nowhere to run when it’s time to make the hardest of decisions.

And they need look no further for the biggest challenges they will face than with the personnel they have in their teams.

Most often when decisions need to be made, as long as facts are clearly taken into account, although there might be some difficulty in telling those who might be disappointed, the right decision is pretty clear.

Being ‘factual’ makes it much more easy, because objective assessments are much easier to make than subjective ones. When we let emotions rule our decision-making process, that’s when things start to unravel.

Faced with a choice between two great contributors, is often where a manager needs to tread most carefully. Whilst it might seem to be a lot more difficult then, looking hard and being absolutely objective – not to mention keeping the required outcome very, very close to mind – can make it an easier task.

Here a manager really does have to watch for the influence of personal preference; favoritism; emotional attachment whilst deciding.

Because these can often blur objectivity.

Making the best decision – often when it seems that there might be a loser in the process – sometimes has to be done.

It can be tough to get it right for the bigger picture – and that’s where great managers earn their crust.

Filed under Blog, Developing Your People, Focus on Results, Management Basics, Managing Me by Martin

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October 25, 2010

Seeing Things Differently

Faced with the challenges that come at managers every day, it’s easy to see how reactions happen almost without thinking.

Maybe even it would make the job impossible if we were unable to do things on autopilot at least some of the time.

So finding ways to take stock and respond with more consideration to situations, can be a tough call.

Being unable to take a breath and take time over making decisions can be frustrating and ultimately be detrimental to what you are trying to achieve.

This week take up the challenge to consider making a different decision to the one that comes immediately to mind, providing you with the opportunity to create outcomes that are unexpected.

For example, what might happen if you made no decision when asked? What could be the value in making a decision that is completely the opposite to what your gut reaction suggests?

There are other options that you can consider, when you just take that extra few moments to consider what you automatically would do – and consider the others by seeing the situation differently that you would typically.

And the reward might just be greater than you could possibly expect.

Filed under Blog, Management Basics, Managing Me by Martin

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October 10, 2010

Keeping Sane – Influencing What You can

Life is busy. We have many things on our plate – too many most of us would say. And at times it can seem overwhelming.

So often there are issues we face that challenge us, often many times a day – and frequently shift our perspective, making what are relatively trivial issues magnified, such that they can easily consume us.

Much of what happens in our lives can be adjusted by the choices we make. So often a choice we make is a choice that we might make almost unconsciously, especially where we decline to make a difficult one, because the consequences of making it might be tough.

Then there are the times we spend considering and wringing our hands about circumstances over which we have no choices at all, because there are no actions we could take that are within our sphere of influence.

So we waste much of our time thinking about things that are completely outside what we can change, whatever we do.

We spend time there because it’s less controversial to be there, rather in the thick of issues where we can make real differences to our lives, because it’s easier to whine about external, uninfluenceable issues, than it is to face into areas that we could challenge.

But doing that is hard. So we bottle it and spend time blaming the rest of the world.

Sometimes, the people we associate with in our lives – and particularly where we manage others, the employees we have in our teams – lay on us their problems and issues they have in their lives that they cannot control, making their lives so seemingly awful.

The tactic here is to ensure that we encourage them simply to focus on those issues where a difference can be made and spend as little time as possible in those places where we can’t. And we do the same with our issues too.

Then we create more space to be much more productive and effective and take control, rather than waste our available time in that hole where we can – if we choose – wallow about what the world is doing to us.

As managers, we can model our ability to focus only on areas we can influence to our people too, encouraging them to be much more relevant with their thinking and then actions.

Above all, remembering that it’s a choice.

Filed under Blog, Developing Your People, Management Basics, Managing Me by Martin

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March 10, 2009

Doing the Opposite

Whilst many of the opportunities each of us face every day seem to have straightforward solutions, sometimes it’s worth considering taking a different angle.

As we go about our daily lives, we follow set patterns of behaviors that are along paths we have walked many times. It becomes difficult for us to amend our thinking and so we carry on as we have before.

So, I’d like to suggest an alternative course of action for a while. Just humor me for a while as you read on!

How would it be if instead of making a decision that you would normally do, you instead consider carefully doing exactly the opposite.

For example, if you have a set procedure to follow, I’d like you to consider what would happen if you did the complete opposite.

What would happen? What might you learn from thinking this way? Indeed, what positives might you gain, maybe unexpectedly, if you seriously considered doing the oppositie to where your natural and common thinking would usually take you.

Clearly there are some life and death situations where this would not be a valuable course of action to consider – and these will be less frequent than you might expect. It depends on how flexibly, risky even, you might want to try out.

Many times when you take this option and consider the other way, even the opposite way, there will be a learning to gain from seeing a completely different angle/perspective.

It just depends how you look at it and whether you can be creative enough to allow yourself this opportunity.

Filed under Blog, Managing Me by Martin

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