My brother Rob recently walked 650km from Galway Ireland to Winchester enroute to Spain. He told me that for days he was trying to decide whether or not to continue walking and take the ferry to France or head back home. He wasn’t sure where he was supposed to be. The indecision was taking a toll on him both mentally and emotionally.
As a result of the pandemic, inflation, and changes in the workplace, leaders, investors, entrepreneurs and employees are finding themselves at a point where they never expected to be a couple of years ago. Plans for the future have changed drastically, in some cases. Many people are wondering how they are going to survive. Should they adapt to the current situation or should they change their plans, dreams and goals? As Rob told me, “When you’re heading on a path you haven’t traveled before, it’s important to stop from time to time to figure out where you are and if necessary adjust your course or even your destination”.
Making decisions in a time of change can often be stressful. Also the more we delay the
decision, the more energy we spend in analyzing and trying to come up with the perfect plan. This is not to say that we should make rash decisions to reduce the amount of time, energy and resources that we are putting into making the best decisions. However, coming up with a decision will in many cases reduce your stress and anxiety about the future.
So how can we make decisions that will enable us to have less stress and better outcomes?
Set some Criteria: Having some minimal and optimal criteria for making decisions enables us to make better decisions. Start with the end in mind. What is it that we want to accomplish? Perhaps it is less stress, or a certain amount of cash in the bank. Maybe it’s better relationships or work-life balance. Understanding what the desired outcome is can help us frame our decisions in a better light. Email dave@pivotleader for an opportunity analyzer cheat sheet.
List your options: Many times when I am dealing with business leaders who are facing a serious decision about how to move their business forward we start by listing our options. The first option we discuss is always. “Do Nothing”. What would happen if you decided to just be comfortable with the current situation? Next we want to brainstorm an exhaustive list of our other options. While this can take time it shouldn’t prolong our pain for extended periods of time.
Research the Pros and Cons of each option. Once we have a list of options, we want to figure out what are the costs and benefits of each option to enable us to see clearly what our choices are.
Pick your best option: In some cases there may be a combination of options that will work best, however deciding on how you are going to move forward is often more important than the option itself.
Make a Plan. At this point there is probably some relief that you have some options and you have picked one that makes sense to you and your team in the current situation. Making a plan to implement the option will further help you move forward in the decision making process.
Take the first steps to make the plan a reality: Nothing happens without action. Moving forward with your implementation will further reduce your stress. Seeing the plan in action will help you towards achieving your goal of a better outcome. This takes determination.
The reality is that once we make a decision, reality starts to set in. In Robs case, he said that
once he made the decision to head back home a shift happened and with the mental adjustment the choice wasn’t a problem anymore. Decision making can be difficult especially in times of change, yet no matter where you’re going, the only place you can start from is where you find yourself right now.
Dave Fuller, MBA is an Award Winning Business Coach and the Author of the book Profit
Yourself Healthy. This article was written with the help of Rob Fuller MCS at home in Galway.
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