How to avoid snap decisions we might regret later
When we are busy, up against it, workloads and meetings piling up, it’s easy to look at decisions as either, the answer is right or wrong, good or bad, win or lose.
Simple answers make us feel safer, especially in disruptive and tough times. But rather than certainty, modern leaders need to consciously cultivate the capacity to see more, to deepen, widen, and lengthen their perspectives. Tony Schwartz (American Journalist) has written some brilliant books and has tips to make us take the time and re-look at our decisions from a more simple and effective perspective.
- Forever challenge your convictions – Begin by getting into the habit of asking two key questions in the face of any difficult decision: “What am I not seeing here?” and “What else might be true?”. Confirmation bias makes us feel safer, but it also prevents us from seeing a more detailed picture of the possibilities.
- Do the most challenging task first every day – Those of us who work in health and wellbeing know about working to our circadian rhythm but how many of us actually do? Defer making decisions until the next morning when your mental energy should be higher and you will naturally be at your most alert. Think about your colleagues too, will having a meeting in the last hour of the day really gain the most from all who are involved? Or realistically could it wait?
- Pay close attention to your stress triggers – Embracing complexity is not just a cognitive challenge, but also an emotional one. In part, it’s about learning to manage negative emotions — anger and fear above all. When we move into a fight-or-flight (survival) state, our vision literally narrows, our prefrontal cortex begins to shut down, and we become more reactive and less capable of reflection. This awareness by itself helps to modulate the inclination to attack, blame, or scapegoat, which can be hard to do when stressed
For more information on how to deal with everyday stresses as a manager or how to get the most out of your colleagues, call us on 01924 666295.