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What makes a great decision maker?

Decision

We all have to make decisions.. Often all day long. Sometimes we make good ones, sometimes not so good!. Making decisions can be extremely difficult, tiring and stressful.

However, for some it seems to be a breeze and they make great decisions quickly, clearly and successfully.  So here are a few tips that GREAT decision makers do to ensure their choices are the right ones more often than not.

1. Capture Information.
They are good at understanding the appropriate level of information they need. Not too much (or they never decide) and not too little (or the risk of making the wrong choice is too great).

2. Have a focus 
Their decision making is based on some clear criteria for their whole business or organisational map. One good one is ‘Is this a value-creating outcome?’

3. Take their time. 
Good decision makers decide when the time is just right. Sometimes in the moment, other times after consideration. And even sleep on it, maybe, when pushed by others and then, sometimes, owners of the issue make their own decision in the meantime.

4. Keep others informed.
When a decision is pending, good decision makers keep those involved in the input and outcomes of their pending choice in the loop. They value those people by following through and communicating well.

5. Aren’t afraid. 
And decisions are there to be made and not ‘toyed’ with. Prevarication here is often the worst option. Worse even than making the wrong choice…and is one of the biggest frustrations to those involved.

6. Involve others. 
By working with others in a constructive way, the together decisiveness builds confidence in the leader. Often, as part of the information gathering cycle, opinions are sought as information and valued. Ideas off the wall from others can regularly provide the best choice – so they do not miss the opportunity.

7. Are accountable. 
Through making the best choice at the time, great decision makers know they, and they alone are accountable. That is the role they have chosen and the burden they carry – no one else gets the blame.

8. Know their limits. 
Sometimes decisions are outside the scope of an individual. The best one’s know where the boundary of their choice making lies and pitch their level of accountability accordingly.

9. Show commitment.
Once the decision is made, the best decision makers stick with it with their full energy and focus. Making a decision and not following through is the worst possible sort of decision.

10. Learn from their mistakes
Reviewing the performance of a decision is a vital part of developing and honing those skills. Great decision makers develop a formal or informal process with which to measure the calibre of their Decision Making outcomes.

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