Just finished a podcast from the Centre for Creative Leadership on decision making myths, discussion how business executives and leaders can improve their decision making skills. They start off examining the paradox of leadership, and how ego and confidence can be great leadership qualities, yet also handicap team decision-making processes.
The problem seems to focus on being able to exhibit decisive confidence when it’s necessary, yet still encourage debate and ideas that challenge the status quo. Decision-making research has shown that the best strategic decisions don’t come from teams that go for the easy consensus, but from consensus found through vigorous debate. Creating this environment takes sharp communication skills.
Here are the 6 tips they offer (paraphrased):
1.) Try it again – just because something didn’t work before, don’t rule it out. Times change, adapt with them;
2.) Slow down and ask questions – hasty decisions often miss the knowledge that time unveils;
3.) Operate at the edge of chaos – Show confidence you’re open to debate, disruptive ideas;
4.) Ask & listen – when ideas start coming, ask questions and listen. Confident leaders go outside their inner circle for ideas & input knowing this isn’t a reflection on their abilities;
5.) Get some help – as well as asking for input, confident leaders know their strengths and weaknesses and when to get outside help to see things from a different perspective; and,
6.) Let the ego go – delegate effectively, and build a strong and effective team by letting go of control at the right times.