Life is determined by the decisions you make; from the mundane to major life choices. When it comes to decision-making, everyone is different. There are individuals who prefer to act swiftly and seem to generate their plan midstream, while others appear to become paralyzed by what could go wrong.
Our decisions are influenced by our personality, values, biases, emotions, and past experiences. Chances are, the people you work with are different from you in what influences their decisions. These differences can lead to conflict among colleagues, teams, and direct reports, thus causing delays and impeding progress. So, how can you ensure decisions are made in a timely manner and everyone is on board?
- Know yourself. The first step in understanding the decisions you make is to have self-awareness. How do you make daily decisions, are you strategic or pragmatic? How does stress affect your process, do you become stuck or reckless? Does the decision you are trying to make align with your values?
- Know your team. Do you know what is important to the person or group with whom you are working? What information have they requested in the past to make a decision? Are they currently under stress or will your request cause additional stress. Understanding that your colleague’s decision-making style can change under stressful conditions will help alleviate frustration on your part.
- Communication. Individuals with a more direct communication style can feel as if you are trying to butter them up for a bad idea. Where individuals who tends to provide a lot of explanation, examples, and niceties might feel as if someone who communicates differently is not providing enough explanation. Pay attention to how others communicate with you. Use their communication style to relay your idea.
- Political Savvy. As hard as it can be to navigate the political landscape of a corporation, it can be even harder getting ideas off the ground and making decisions. Becoming more adept and learning about what drives those individuals you work with can help you present information in way that speaks to their values and how they prefer to make decisions.
Driving change and influencing decision-making requires energy, savvy, and a lot of hard work.