|"Waiting often brings new ideas and|
solutions to the table when considering a
problem in the decision making process."
Decision making - “One guiding Principal that Rules them All “ ( Lord of the Rings nod there is you didn’t get it). I don’t have 8 steps to being a more effective leader, or 10 tips to becoming more successful – I use just one simple idea in my decision making. Perhaps a little short sighted you might say, even a little simplistic – but frankly this strategy has proven to be a life saver and I am going to share it with you and you don’t even have to attend a workshop, arrange for a free consultation or visit my website to get this info!
After all that…the idea is pretty simple – wait, just wait longer to make your decision. People are driven to make decisions sooner than necessary most of the time. In this fast paced and hectic business world there is a need to get things done now – we are driven by constant communication, short work cycles, management demands and competing special interest groups to make immediate decisions.
In many ways we have gradually contributed greatly to the need to make decisions quickly for gen x and now gen y decision makers because of technology and the rise of more immediate communication - but we haven’t provided the mentoring and insight necessary to understand the anatomy of decision making.
Scale is an important decisions when applying the wait and see approach to decision making. Clearly you can’t wait for weeks when a decision has to be made by tomorrow morning. I use a simple understanding of the scale of decision making to inform the decision making process. If the decision is considered an immediate demand, i.e., in the next few minutes, hours or days, decisions if properly considered may take hours, days or weeks given the same scale of decision making.
Of course the all-important question, why wait? Waiting often brings new ideas and solutions to the table when considering a problem in the decision making process. Additionally, the loudest and most pressing solution is not always the best path – often we need time and space to reflect on a decision and its implications. And, of course many problems that demand immediate decision making often resolve themselves given time; sometimes through innovation and other times through the thoughtful solutions from team members and subordinates.
I am sorry I can’t think of a more common analogy for the thought process around waiting to make a decision but the idea of baseball, and the batter waiting patiently in his batter’s box as a pitch arrives makes sense to me. In that moment the batter must make an immediate decision. As decisions become more meaningful late in games or important playoff situations batters are often said to wait on the pitch longer, allowing it to travel further. They may not hit it as hard but they are less likely to make an out. The batter stands back and tries to create more space to give him or herself more time to decide to make contact or not. This additional time in the batter’s box makes the difference between average and great decision making.
Don’t get me wrong, you can still make quick decisions and be successful, but this demands a greater degree of skill, in my opinion, often demanding considerable experience. Waiting and taking more time to make a thoughtful decision allows you to weigh more factors and consider alternatives that are difficult to fathom in the short term.