Earlier this week we talked about why people struggle to make better decisions. Today, we give you several tools that help you increase the speed and effectiveness of your decision making process. Today serving leaders are faced with more and more decisions than in the past as the speed of business increases. They need better planning tools to make better decisions.
If you hope to be an effective leader you must maximize the value of team input in your decision making. So how do we do this? First, let me dispel one leadership myth. That is, great leaders make their best decisions unassisted. I have never known a great leader who did not collect and analyze information from a number of sources before making the right decisions.
That being said, the first key to making better decisions is by spending more time working on your organization’s culture and values. If you people know where the organization stands on issues, it’s a much faster decision making process. Every high performing team I’ve ever worked with has clear, easily defined values. They don’t hang on a plaque on the wall; they are lived every day by the people on the team. People can be trusted to make decisions because they know their organization’s values and culture.
The second key to making better decisions is that you organization is strengths based. People on your team know what they do well and they don’t spend significant time working on improving their weaknesses. How do we decide what a person’s strengths are? We ask them. We then watch how they do before the first big decision is made. I believe that if we want to empower and engage people we must help them develop and use their strengths on a regular basis. Entrepreneurs must become great player coaches. They must help their team members develop the confidence in their strengths. Coaching is critical to help others improve, but also to let you develop into a better leader. If you learn to coach your teams, you develop an organization that is much more agile and powerful in the way it makes its critical decisions.
The third key to making better decisions is hire people who are lifetime learners. As the future plays out, we will be challenged to do more with less. If your key team members are not involved in ongoing self-development, you will struggle to have all the best options available when the time is right. Invest in your team members to keep them operating at the highest level. This means providing them with training and development that matches with their career aspirations. I have found that people who keep up with current trends are much better at identifying future business opportunities. Invest money in sending them to conferences and training then expect them to share it with your team. Help them build their strengths by sharing new ideas in your organization. The best way to have the best team is if you build it yourself. I understand this is not always practical, but given a choice, I would prefer to work with my teams on challenges than outside consultants forever.
Finally, the last key to making better decisions is to understand how people process information. The more you know about how people make decisions, the more quickly you can learn how to leverage it to get better results. Learn to facilitate discussions with the different people on your teams in the way that works best for them and you may be surprised at the quality of actionable information you receive. It is critical today for leaders to be focused on how other people work best and then work with them that way. This means the best leaders need to increase their emotional intelligence.
Next Tuesday we will begin sharing how you can become more emotionally intelligent. See you Tuesday.