One of the most consistent observations we make during our corporate StrengthsGenius seminars, is the sincere desire of professionals to become effective team leaders that haven’t quite landed on a formula for success. After all, getting diverse personalities and perspectives aligned to accomplish a goal can be a challenging landscape to navigate.
The angst of making errors in critical decisions can bog a team leader down. Understandably, there may be a lot riding on it including the possibility of a career shortening event should things go wrong.
Effective Leadership Skills: A Decision-Making Starter Map
One of the hallmarks of successful people is that they know how and when to make decisions. Lean in to the following three suggestions to moving your decision making forward by making the best decision with tools and information available at the time.
1. Weigh Your Options: Let’s say that one of the decisions facing you as a team leader is whether to transition a given territory from one sales rep to another. Clearly, there are two options in this case:
(i) let Sales Rep A keep the territory; or (ii) give it to Sales Rep B.
So, how do you decide what to do? This question brings us to the next step, which is to . . .
2. Predict the Outcome: This step causes confusion for many because one might ask, “Can you really predict an outcome?” The truth is that you can predict a variety of outcomes. We call it the possibility game.
First consider the fact that something led you to the conclusion that a territory change might produce a better outcome, otherwise it wouldn’t be on your radar screen. What are the positive and negative possibilities associated with both sides of the equation, either moving the territory from Sales Rep A to Sales Rep B, or not.
The secret to success at this stage is to exhaust all the potential outcomes you can predict and get clear about the purpose of the move. Ask yourself why you are considering doing this and if you are willing to move forward once the decision is made.
3. Evaluate the Risk. Risk is what keeps many of us paralyzed – even when we’ve evaluated the pros and cons, and gotten all types of data and input from others. And, this is what separates effective team leaders from others.
While they may be afraid of risk, they realize that it’s part of being a leader – and move forward anyway.
The reason this stage stumps so many is because it goes to the heart of their situation, ie, what you have, what you want, and how bad to you want the outcome. The key to success at this stage is to know your strengths, your talents, what motivates you and how to overcome obstacles.
In short, when you know and trust yourself – your gut instincts – you will become more confident in making decisions – and be a more effective manager as well.
Making better decisions is a skill that can be developed, much like becoming an effective team leader. Of course, there are many nuances you will develop on the journey. These three steps give you a point from which to start.
Celebrating Your Unique Genius,
Lori and Shari
To discover your Top 5 Strengths click HERE that can help you make decisions quicker.