Knowing how to reach clarity on a decision rapidly, particularly in critical times, is a differentiating mark of a great leader. Try this simple, yet effective approach to switch your slow deliberations with faster decision-making:
- Be clear about your ultimate objective. Clarity is the ornament of profound thought. Instead of lumping several objectives into one decision, prioritize and determine the goal that you care the most about.
- Be rational about data points you collect. Get the facts, minimize participants to those whose subject matter and vision are most relevant, and subtract the unnecessary details. Be transparent and avoid injecting emotion into the decision-making process.
- Get a second opinion or, better yet, get a divergent opinion. Talking to an experienced individual and seeking complementary opinions is a great way to broaden your frame of reference, eliminate biases such as the confirmation bias, reduce judgment errors, and thus strengthen your own perspective. Also, the very act of explicating your thought process can open your mind to fresh insights.
- Act, when you’ve reached a point of diminishing returns during the deliberation process. No amount of consideration of facts and thought can assure the “right” decision. In a 2002 interview, former Intel CEO Andy Grove noted that no leader knows enough about the future to make the optimal decision every time, but it’s better to set a clear course today and tackle problems that arise tomorrow. You should view decision-making not as an imperative to choose perfectly today, but to progress to the gateway of the next decision.