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Making decisions safe

I have made many decisions during my lifetime.  Decisions to buy things, sell things, start things, end things, to save, to delay, to prioritize, to take part, to rest, to befriend and even decisions not to make a decision.

It was not until 6 August 2017 that, for the first time in my life, I made a decision that I can never go back on.  The decision Caroline and I took to send our Kit Kat to heaven.  Once the decision had been made and then done, it was absolutely final.  Nothing that we could have said, no amount of apologizing, no recapping of the data, nothing could be done to bring her back.  It was absolutely final.  I really had to be true.  To be true to me, to be true to Caroline and most of all to be true to Kit Kat.

I’m sure that there are plenty of you out there, reading this blog, who have been in a similar position with a pet.  This blog is not assuming that you have not and it is definitely not an attempt to get sympathy.  It is in some way an opportunity to get some things off my chest but most of all, it is intended as an opportunity to reflect on decision making as a whole and how your current decision making processes are impacting your business.

FEAR does negatively impact decision making

Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of commitment, fear of what others might think, fear of the trouble that might come your way if it does not work and even the fear of a better option coming along.

You may have noticed that in our blogs where fear is mentioned that we often denote the word in capital letters.  This is due to the generally accepted acronym for fear being False Evidence Appearing Real.

There will always be a result stemming from a decision

The basic principle of cause and effect will see to it.  Even deciding not to make a decision will have an effect.  I don’t think it is possible, or even fair, just to say get over the fear of making a decision.  What is needed though is to do everything possible to make decision making safe.  Make it safe to decide and make it safe for people in your team to make decisions.

Some tips on making it safe to make a decision:

  • Gather all the facts
  • Get expert input
  • Do your own independent research
  • Listen to your conscience
  • Use the power of more heads – use a group of people
  • Learn from mistakes
  • Think win win
  • Distinguish between final and reversible decisions
  • Aim for consensus – don’t settle for majority rules for big impact decisions
  • Allocate time to reflect – to sleep on it
  • Remember your decision track record and learn from it
  • Be prepared to live with the outcomes – good or bad
  • Don’t be selfish – it is important to think about you and it is important to do what is best for the world around you and everything within it

Life can be tough

Life has its ups and downs.  It has been difficult dealing with Kit Kat’s deteriorating health and the circumstances that prompted our decision.  Part of coping with it has been reflecting on all the wonderful years we had with her – another is using the situation as a means to learn – as a means to cope better with other challenges that come our way.

Making decisions can be a challenge.

Please do what you can, and use whatever you wish from the list above to make the making of a decision as safe as possible.

 

By Louis Gerke

Development FacilitatorThe Ripple Effect

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