How to Make Difficult Decisions in Business: A Guide

By  //  October 30, 2019

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Being a leader in business has its perks, but there’s no denying that it demands a lot from a person emotionally, mentally and physically.

Being a leader in business has its perks, but there’s no denying that it demands a lot from a person emotionally, mentally and physically.

You need to be able to compartmentalize your own feelings and personal opinions in order to motivate your team and make crucial decisions that will affect the future of the business.

When you’re an employer, this has a direct impact on the lives of others, which only increases the pressure and stress. If you’re facing a difficult decision now or in the future, here are some essential tips to help ease your concerns.  

Avoid ‘Decision Fatigue’

Studies have shown that when a person makes a lot of decisions in quick succession, they can develop mental fatigue, which leads to accumulated stress.

When we are under too much pressure to make decision after decision, seemingly small choices such as picking an outfit or what to eat for dinner can pile on top, and suddenly even the tiniest choice can cause stress.

You can avoid decision fatigue by removing as many inconsequential decisions as possible and spending less time on those that don’t affect the business. Establish basic routines that you can repeat, including what you wear and eat, and delegate small decisions to others in the company.

Remove Yourself from The Equation

When you are facing an overwhelming decision, try to imagine yourself as separate from the situation altogether. If this decision was facing another business owner, what would you advise him or her to do? Simplify the description of the problem and say it out loud.

Emotionally detaching from the situation can help to focus the mind on what is most important and enable you to see past personal biases and emotional involvement.

Set A Strict Deadline

Procrastinating when you have a decision to make does not make it any easier, or the correct solution any different. If you tell yourself to have two weeks to decide, you will take two weeks. If you give yourself a single day, you can make the call in a day. Don’t rush decisions but give yourself a strict deadline to avoid wasting time and resources.

Focus on Facts and Statistics

It’s much easier to make decisions based on concrete facts and statistics, so try to quantify the impact of possible solutions. You can apply quantifiable variables to almost every decision if you put your mind to it.

The Six Sigma methodology is a world-renowned approach to improving business efficiency and productivity, which focuses heavily on statistical analysis.

The methodology has several levels of proficiency, beginning with White Belt, Yellow Belt, Green Belt and Black Belt, but the highest level is Six Sigma Master Black Belt training which can give leaders the statistical skills required to make difficult decisions in a straightforward and efficient way.

Streamline Your Options

When faced with too many options, we complicate the decision-making process. It takes longer to make a choice, is more stressful and will probably result in you being less sure of your ultimate choice.

Limit your options as much as possible and consider minimizing the variables which you compare.

For example, if you are choosing between two suppliers who are relatively equal in terms of quality of service, make your decision solely on cost.