Avoid the Pitfalls of Decision Making

Mistakes are unavoidable but we can avoid making “dumb decisions.” There are things that all people with different kinds of intelligence do to themselves that lead to these dumb decisions.

One classic mistake is overthinking. Intelligent people often make the mistake of over analysis. Especially as a leader we will have both external and internal pressure to make the right decision. More than like there is no way for us to turn down the external pressure, we can only control the pressure we put on ourselves.

No one will ever make the right decision always—so we must stop putting that pressure on ourselves. We will make mistakes, but we are prepared for that. Don’t over analyze your every move or you will paralyze your decision-making ability.

Something we can do to streamline decision making is to make small decisions and often. The further we put off making single, small decisions the more they grow into monsters pending on our to-do list. In business and often in life decisions have a due date. Keep up with the small ones to avoid to-do list full of monsters on down the line. Additionally, making a bad decision on a small matter is more fixable than the alternative.

Not making a decision is also a decision and getting caught in that feedback loop can be dangerous.

Some Words to Subtract from Your Professional Lexicon

Any good writer will tell us that a single word can totally change the shade or tone of a sentence or passage. This is true of conversation as well. A single word can act on the subconscious of subordinates and peers alike and could change the level of confidence they have in your communication.

One of these words is “think” especially used in the phrase “I think.” But who doesn’t use the phrase “I think?” While it may sound as if you are taking possession of the idea with this short preface, but in reality when one says something like “I think I have a good idea” this will often lead the listener to believe that you are unsure of whether the idea is good or not, that you are still mulling it over.

In casual conversation, “I think I’ll have lunch with George,” it is essentially a throw away phrase. But you might want to drop this phrase from your professional lexicon.
Another trouble word is “need.” While it may seem to emphasis an obligation on the part of the subordinate or peer it can also come of as, well, needy. “I need this project finished by the due date” might make it sound as if you are dependent on the person or obligation.

Similar to “need” is “want” which can be taken as an emotional appeal rather than a statement of fact. “I want your reports to be of a higher quality” is not as definitive as “These reports need to be of a higher quality.” Or try “I want a raise because my work has been good” sounds emotional compared to “The quality of my work this year is worthy of a raise.”

Other words like “guess,” “hope,” and “suppose” all work in likewise fashions. Using “hope” can add an element of uncertainty or even doom. “Guess” and “suppose” both, again, could lend an element of uncertainty to an idea one is proposing.

Leaders. Look Forward.

History has not been kind to leaders. Many we that we might claim to be successful (outside the context of our morals) were autocratic and aggressive: Lenin, Alexander the Great, Mao Tse Tung. And often the rewards of leadership are severe such as in the case of Ghandi, JFK or Lincoln.

So if we cannot look to history what does the modern leader look like?

For one, they should always themselves and their organization be looking toward the future. First and foremost, the leader needs to realize his role is never permanent. Look at the UK Football Champion ship s an example, managers often last less than a year one a single team.

A good leader is always building a succession of talent—really a leader’s job is to prepare the path forward and teach those who will one day lead.

But this isn’t just planning for the future. To paraphrase Steve Jobs, surround yourself with smart people and let them tell you what to do. Recognize these people and allow them to move the organization forward while you facilitate their talent.

These smart people need the infrastructure provided by the organization and the ability of the leader to bring each expert together to solve problems and get projects done. They should see that current leadership is preparing future roles for them.

The Power of To-Do’s

Leadership To-Do’s

No good leader is stagnant in their ways and such a leader cannot expect their subordinates to grow if they themselves are not willing to grow. Whether it is quarterly, at the half year or annually leaders and anyone wanting to change themselves for the better can work on the follow list of To-Do’s for self-betterment.

Find some new role models to focus during the next cycle. These role models could somehow represent other goals in your list or the could be just be new faces who share your values. It is important to take on unfamiliar perspectives to expand our ability to understand all different kinds of people.

Decide on two good habits you want to develop. Also, choose one bad habit you want to rid yourself of. Let go of that which isn’t useful or productive and nurture your best self. Find happy mediums and moderation. Come up with one month’s worth of plans for activities that will help you normalize the good, new habits and break the bad ones. Small, but deliberate actions will help reach your habit changing goals.

No matter your time line for everything else, choose one new subject area you would like to learn about over the next year. Set reasonable goal to reach and out line the learning process as you imagine it. By always learning we make ourselves more complex and interesting as well as opening ourselves to new ways of thinking.

Make a list of new books you’ll read. Again, it is helpful to be realistic in your planning. You might choose titles that have something to do with you habit changing goals or your learning of a new subject if your plans are feeling a little overwhelming.

Keep it simple. Keep it realistic. Stick to your plan. Become a more interesting person.

The Science of Discipline in the Workplace

Most organizations and teams are not pure democracies, in the end there is someone who is in charge. More often than we like to think this person in charge is asked to discipline a peer in cases of insubordination. Though we don’t like to think about it, insubordination does happen.

Whether it’s simply the character of a selected team member’s temperament or somebody simply having an instant of rebellion however will a front runner influence insubordination adult to adult?

First and foremost having a standard in place with dealing with general and/or specific types of insubordination is key. In the corporate world this often comes in the form of an employee handbook—a document like this can be invaluable even for a very small business, that may be run more casually. It is far easier to have rules in place then to try to enforce something without precedent.

Some leaders, managers and bosses will accommodate successful team members who have rebellious personalities if they are getting the job done and fundamentally respect the leader, other team members and the organization.

However, leaders ought to recognize that some team members could also be aggravated or resentful by the accommodation vogue and leaders WHO use this vogue might loose their credibleness with different team members if they are too loosey-goosey.
At the opposite finish of the spectrum there’s a strict leadership vogue during which propriety is of the top importance to the leader—sometimes to the purpose wherever any questioning of the leader is considered insubordination.
Team members usually recognize precisely wherever the road is once this vogue is used, however leaders will loose out on honest, critical feedback and may foster an atmosphere of fear and low morale.
While both these extreme styles have potential benefits and drawbacks, staying consistent is important.Inconsistent treatment of insubordination can inevitably cause chaos, low morale and loss of respect. Playing favorites or permitting one thing on Tuesday, but then not on Thursday is a quick way to lay waste to any respect or credibility a leader as earned from her team.
Some believe the most effective thanks to handle insubordination, adult to adult, in a very leader-to-team-member relationship is thru immediate constructive criticism.

Address the behavior politely, but firmly. Be as objective as possible about the transgression. While for many this will feel like the most uncomfortable and difficult option in the short term, in the long term this style may reap the most healthy team environment.

Non-Material Rewards for Team Members

Many leaders would love to reward their subordinates, however don’t have a budget.

 

Allowing staff a piece from home day will be a decent thanks to reward them.
If this doesn’t apply to your state of affairs specifically, figure out how to reward your team member by allowing them to work for a day on their own scheduling or location terms.
If you have got a codification, ease up on it.
It is not simply the school sector or alternative “young” businesses that have discovered that it’s quite absurd to faux we’d like special consumer goods to urge our work done in the business world. Ditch the white collars (at least on Fridays).
Find how to administer your team member a special project that suits their interest or below used ability set or realize another job-related chance to administer them.

Bring in one of the “big wigs” to have a sit down with your team and discuss the vision and future of the company and how they all fit into that picture. If you are the big wig (or not) you might consider bringing in a relevant outsider to lead your pow wow.

Take the time to put in writing associate degree honest and positive letter of advice for the team member. Talk to them regarding why you’d be happy to be a reference within the future, either for advancement within the organization or if they decide to move on.
The latter might be a part of often regular one-on-one sessions along with your teammates. Focus on the teammate’s needs and thoughts. Ask them questions. How can you help them?
Whatever you decide on to try and do, a straightforward gesture lightness the accomplishments and abilities of your staff once financial or material rewards aren’t associate degree possibility is that the best thanks to let them know they are appreciated.