In last week’s blog post, Charlie wrote about the value of pivoting your plans when the circumstances of life cause a surprise change to be necessary. One underlying skill behind the concept of pivoting is decisiveness. The ability to be decisive comes easier for some people than it does for others.
Decisiveness is comprised of two key components: being able to make a decision quickly and effectively. Being able to make decisions quickly is an important aspect of decisiveness. In Charlie’s blog post last week, he recounted a recent event where he and his wife, Colleen, had to make a last-minute change to their vacation plans. Imagine if they had taken two or three days to decide where to spend their vacation. By the time they would have made a decision, their vacation would have been almost over! Unfortunately, we are not usually provided advanced notice that a surprise is around the corner. Taking too long to come to a decision when we are faced with one of life’s surprises can cause us to miss other opportunities.
However, decisiveness involves more than just making decisions quickly. It also involves making effective decisions. Making effective decisions involves gathering enough information to be able to evaluate alternatives, understanding the range of potential outcomes of those alternatives, and choosing how to move forward. Regarding the quantity of information, I use the word “enough” with intention. Making a decision based on insufficient information can lead to disastrous consequences. On the other hand, attempting to gather every potential piece of information before moving forward will lead to a decision being made too late (or no decision being made at all – which is a decision in itself!).
When it comes to effective decision-making, it can sometimes be helpful to seek the counsel of one or two trusted friends, business partners or colleagues. The involvement of others may seem to slow down the decision-making process. However, involving other people with other perspectives or areas of expertise will often help to shine a light on aspects that you may not have otherwise considered.
Here at Master’s, as we walk alongside our clients during life’s changing circumstances, we have seen the impact that decisiveness tends to have. What about you? As you reflect on your life, where have you seen decisiveness (or lack thereof!) impact your life?