Do you want to become more decisive? What’s that, you don’t know? I’ll give you a minute…
Being a decisive person, means being someone who is able to quickly choose the best course of action and to confidently state what they want. This ability is one that anyone should seek to cultivate and that can help you to be more persuasive and a more effective leader. It will give you a better sense of purpose, and it will help you to accomplish more and with less regret. In short, if you’re still deciding, then the answer is ‘yes’ – you should definitely try to become more decisive.
The question is how you become more decisive if it’s not in your nature; so following are some tricks and techniques that can help you to gain the confidence to make quick decisions and stick with them.
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking is a book by Malcolm Gladwell which focusses on the power of the ‘adaptive unconscious’ – the unconscious part of our brain that forms quick decisions based on the minimal information. What’s surprising is that these decisions are often more accurate and adaptive than the decisions we make after thinking on a topic for a long amount of time.
Of course that’s not always the case, and of course it will depend on the nature of the decision – but the point is that more deliberation is not always better. Learn to trust your gut a little more.
Give Yourself a Time Limit
With this in mind, a good system to use when making decisions is to set a short time limit. This gives you a time frame during which you can deliberate as long as you like, but also ensures that you don’t end up thinking for ages without coming to a conclusion.
Embrace Your Fears
If you are hesitating to make a decision, then that normally means that you are somewhat afraid of making the wrong decision. This is understandable, but if it’s causing you to hesitate and damaging your ability to lead then you need to overcome it.
A quick way to do this then is to think of contingency plans and to imagine how you would deal with the worst possible outcome. Once you have mentally dealt with the worst case scenarios, you will find that there is much less to fear and you are able to much more confidently make decisions.
Take the Leap
When you are torn between two equally tempting propositions and you’re unsure of which route to take, the best thing you can do is to jump and hope for the best. This might feel scary, but decision is almost always worse than indecision and at least this way you’ll know where you stand. Making a decision takes courage and confidence, and sometimes you just have to have faith in your own ability – and to deal with the consequences when they come.