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5 Tips for Making Decisions
1. Gather all the facts. Not all decisions allow the luxury of time and information gathering, but when they do (or when you know a big decision is coming up), do your research. Learn if others in your industry or in your company have been faced with similar decisions, and if so, what did they do? If their decision resulted in a not-so-happy ending, what can you do differently?
2. Get respected opinions. Consult your circle of trusted friends or colleagues. Ask someone who you know is an industry expert. It’s not your job to know everything, but it is your responsibility to try to figure out the right answer, and there’s no shame in asking for advice or expertise.
3. Ask WWYLD (What Would Your Leader Do?) Hopefully you’ve had the opportunity to learn about your leader’s thought process. If you know your leader and you know how they think, consider how your leader would approach the situation.
4. Consider what you want to accomplish. What’s the end goal? Will your decision align with the company’s vision and what your team or company wants to accomplish this year? Are you making the decision to benefit you, or is it for the good of the entire organization? If you’re not sure, the answer should be the latter.
5. Just do it. Make a decision already! And remember that not all decisions require fact-gathering, opinion-seeking, and vision-revisiting. But the more important ones – the ones that you might need to later justify – do. Don’t overthink every decision and don’t slow down your team’s momentum because you’re afraid of making a mistake.
Though we all will make mistakes. Sometimes they’ll cost money to fix, like laying new carpet. Other times they’ll cost us time or even heartache. Our tolerance for the price of making the wrong decision will affect our decision making confidence, and that impact is multiplied exponentially when we consider the ripple effect our decision will have on others.