After all, a good night’s sleep can allow you see things in a new light, think more reasonably and logically, and set your emotions aside. It’s great advice. But what if you are smack dab in the middle of a workday?
Obviously, going to sleep is off the table (unless your company has invested in some high-tech sleep pods). Sleeping on it might be smart, but it’s not always practical. So what should you do when you have to make a complex decision, fast. Follow these steps:
- Consider your principles and values. The starting point for all decisions should be your guiding principles and values. Don’t let that get lost when grappling with a difficult decision. Often looking at the decision through the filter of your values and principles will make the decision far easier.
- Collect all the information. Assemble the relevant and pertinent facts. Gather both data and opinions, and review it before taking the next step. Weigh the pros and cons of potential decisions and consider who will be affected and to what lengths.
- Take a breather. You may not be able to sleep, but you can definitely take a break. Go for a walk. Head out to lunch. Grab a cup of coffee. Give yourself a few minutes to clear your head and focus on something other than the decision. The goal is to see it with fresh eyes when you return, and even a little distance can do wonders.
- Check the facts. Refocus on the decision and think about how you feel about it. While you aren’t quite done yet, you may be close! Run your decision back through the facts to make sure you haven’t left anything out, and of course double-check against your values.
- Go for it. If you’ve collected enough information, thoroughly evaluated it, and your decision is what’s best for the team or organization, go ahead and decide.
Here’s a decision that is not hard: Join us for one of our upcoming Bud to Boss workshops and learn the skills you need to be an exceptional leader. Register for event near you!