Deciding decisively – Part Two
Recently, I have enjoyed some fascinating discussions about how we make decisions and possible reasons for why we do not.
I have observed that making decisions involves quite a lot of anxiety. Questions arise in our minds, such as:
• What if I am embarrassing myself?
• What if people ask me why?
• What if I appear foolish?
• Am I “buying” or am I being “sold”?
Without going into the psychology of this, let’s agree that in the face of an important decision, these are the types of questions that arise. When discussing this recently with some Associates, two critical points emerged:
Firstly, each situation will be unique and, secondly, it is hard to make decisions decisively without “looking back to the past”. Both of these go some way to address the questions that arise in our minds.
The realisation and the understanding of what makes each situation unique can be a potent influence in making good decisions. We can be set free from an endless or protracted round of comparisons. We can also focus on the resolution before us with greater freedom because, in important ways, we come to better understand such things as timing, available resources and the presence of opportunity. A clear grasp of the uniqueness of the situation can promote innovation and confidence. It is especially true if a group of people are making the decision. Some of the best decisions are the ones that we have discussed in depth.
The need to avoid “looking back into the past” is a hard one to realise. Of course, previous mistakes need to be kept in mind. It is one of the ways how we learn.
However, clarity emerges more powerfully when we see our way into an uncertain future without the resounding echoes of the past. There is a place for reflection on past events and then there the place for it to end. It needs to be the future we are thinking about, not reproducing and improving on previous decisions.
Making decisions decisively needs us to understand the uniqueness of what faces us and the deliberate focus on the future. These can be tricky things to address. Perhaps you can discover for yourselves considerable common sense in doing so?