Date Added: June 2013
Note: This article appeared in the June 16, 2013 issue of The Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Making decisions is important in every organization. Regardless of role, employees make decisions every moment of every day. How we make decisions varies greatly, resulting in good or bad decisions.
There seem to be three types of decision makers. Arrogant decision makers are overly confident, willing to make any decision; Paralysis decision makers are afraid to make decisions; and Faith decision makers are those, guided by experience, advisors and other factors.
Faith decision makers are best for organizations. Arrogant are those too assertive, making reckless decisions, harmful to organizations; Paralysis are those who do just that – paralyze organizations with indecision.
Faith decision makers use a combination of factors such as experience, trust, listening and instinct. Great leaders learn from mistakes, so personal experiences are helpful influences for decisions.
Trust seems common; however, it cannot be simplified. Think of any important decision you ever made that turned out to be a great decision. Most likely, you sought input from people you trust – spouse, friends, etc. You listened closely to the input and took this into consideration in your decision.
Instinct comes into play with trust because this is having a deeper belief with your heart, not just on your own understanding and experiences, but acknowledging other factors. Leaders use each to help determine and validate decisions.
Think about the decision to hire new employees. Organizations have prospective candidates go through behavioral-based interviews, and take many leadership and skill assessments; all which are helpful.
However, it seems hiring decisions are based on assessments instead of incorporating other aspects such as: is this someone you get along with, is this someone who exhibits the core organizational values, is this someone I trust. Each relates to faith decision making vs. assessments. We sometimes forget business is done by people. We need to be able to look each other in the eye and trust one other; and if not, re-evaluate decisions.
On the flip side, an individual received a job offer and wasn’t sure what to do. An arrogant decision maker would have immediately accepted or declined. A paralysis decision maker may still be deciding. After careful consideration based on personal experiences, this faith decision maker sought input from a few key people he trusted – people who asked questions to make him give more thought to the decision. He used this information to discern and reach a decision in an appropriate time frame.
Faith decision making also involves asking the right questions. Using the above example, the individual didn’t simply ask people if he should accept or decline the position. He asked for guidance. Oftentimes we make incorrect decisions because we ask the wrong questions.
We learn the right questions using the same faith decision making process of experience, trust, listening and instinct. Who do you trust? From whom do you seek guidance? Are you viewed as someone with wisdom? How do you use your heart for decision making? Do you rely on more than your own understanding and acknowledge other factors?
Over time, this builds one’s reputation as a good decision maker, someone: with a reputation for good judgment, sought out by others, deemed a continuous learner, trustworthy, knowing right from wrong, doing what is right, understanding, successful because of mastering the process of faith decision making.
Those who use faith decision making know this is a continuous process that is never completed.
David Yeghiaian is committed to leading people on a life-changing journey to being great leaders. Reach him at email@example.com