It’s what differentiates the average business consultant from the top-tier business consultant: the ability to make tough decisions under pressure. Opterre is a company that coaches business consultants in their careers. We mentor and guide business consultants to success. Here’s some of our tips for how to make smart, executive decisions.
HOW TO MAKE SMART, EXECUTIVE DECISIONS
- Experience. This is the number one factor in making smart, executive decisions. Have you had to make tough decisions before? Were you the sole one making a decision or has it always been in a group? Can you weigh all the options objectively? Do you have a team to solicit ideas from? Experience is about taking all the information and variables and turning it into one direction.
- Overcoming fear. This is both the fear of making the wrong decision and the fear of making the right decision. Many people are paralyzed by the idea of making a wrong decision, so they don’t make a decision at all (which, in itself, is a decision) until the decision is made for them. This is the epitome of ineffective decision making. On the other hand, some people fear making the right decision because of all the work ahead of them. They’d almost rather fail and go back to the status quo than have to work hard to forge a new path.
- Gathering feedback. When you have a tough decision ahead, ask yourself whose opinion you trust? Weigh that person’s advice more heavily than others. And ask for opinions. The more ideas you have, the more likely you are to make the smartest executive decisions. At Opterre, we believe you can’t have enough advice. Business coaches and mentors are great places to ask for help when you need it. Just be careful not to postpone your decisions because you’re waiting for more advice. Know the ultimate number of opinions and stick to that number.
- Base your decision on just the facts. Assumptions are easy to make, especially when unknowns are involved. Take the time to find out the answers, instead of guessing. Making your decision based on quasi-facts tends not to be a good decision.
- Walk on it. Exercise has been proven to get your endorphins flowing. Many people have had their best ideas while they were doing some sort of exercise. Get out in the fresh air and take your dog for a long walk. Go over everything in your mind and then listen. You’ll be surprised what you’ll hear.
- Sleep on it. And sleep on it some more depending on how big of a decision is being made. Humans are prone to quick decision making based off our ancestors who had to make split-second, life or death decisions when a predator approached or a natural disaster struck. We have to fight our instincts to make decisions without weighing the consequences. Hence, time helps us do this and sleeping on it gives our brains time to process the new information gathered and sort it for the next day. A few days or even more may be needed, depending on the information-gathering phase of your decision.
- Be a forecaster. Try to predict the results of your differing decisions, especially if you have two to choose between. Then visualize and walk around for a few hours in that decision and listen to your gut about whether it’s the right one or not.
- Don’t make a decision based on emotion. This one may go without saying, but sometimes humans make decisions out of spite or when they are angry or frustrated or they just want the stress and the whole process to end. If this is the case, then you really shouldn’t be in a decision-making position in the first place.
Opterre’s mission is to coach and mentor business consultants to have successful careers in their chosen industries. We run the gamut of services from the seed of an idea to the germination of the business. We’re here to bounce ideas off, to gather information, to offer unbiased feedback, to use our expertise when you’re stuck, to network for you, and to be there to help you when the tough decisions need to be made. Opterre succeeds when you succeed. Contact us today!