19 Sep How being decisive gives you power
Being decisive gives you power
People in power get there because of their ability to make smart decisions. In my dealings with business leaders and teams, you see who rise above the day to day through patience and being decisive. They take the lead and regardless of the outcome, have the confidence to see their decisions through.
Not everyone can handle the responsibility that comes with it however and what often happens is people find making a decision too confronting and they revert back to their default position. Indecision causes us paralysis while being decisive makes us powerful. Being decisive provides the fuel for continued self-mastery and success.
It seems that some people are born decisive. These individuals are commonly seen in leadership roles, and their default mindset is set on making clear decisions that bring them closer to their goals. You too can cultivate this mindset even if you feel that you aren’t naturally inclined. Strong analytical skills, emotional stability, critical thinking, and collaboration are some of the characteristics that support positive decision making. However, simply making a decision that you will engage in the activity/training boosts your track record of making clear decisions which has a virtuous effect enabling you to become more decisive.
It also helps to think of decisiveness as a muscle. It needs to be used frequently in order to be strong and effective. If you have to make too many decisions though, your thoughts can become too cloudy to function well. You can prevent decision fatigue by transforming smaller decisions into routines. In doing so, you free up your mental resources to handle more complex decisions.
From my own experience
In my own experience as a language and communications coach, I’m regularly confronted with multiple choices. Partner with this or that company? Bring on this new program or course? Hire this person or that person? As with all business people, there are tradeoffs to be made. Not all of the consequences of our decisions can be seen until a decision is made. I do find though, that making a decision provides a boost in confidence and action that stimulates further confidence. Strung together, these decisions and actions provide a platform for making better quality decisions.
Also, I’m much more confident about making a decision without all of the information. How many times do we hold off on making a decision because we would like to ‘know’ more? I still think like this sometimes. It’s becoming less necessary to know everything and more necessary for me to be making a decision. No matter how small, making a decision helps get me up and moving in the direction I want to be going.
A simple example
Take for instance my decision to go with a particular textbook we use in our business English class. It took several weeks of reviewing, sorting, sampling and sifting through various reviews, notes, sample packs and course documents to finally decide on Market Leader, and in particular the Extra Edition. We use a range of supplementary material, but being able to rely on a solid publication enables us to spend energy creating great classes with real-world examples and scenarios.
Being decisive has also been powerful in my personal life. After knowing my future wife for only a few months, I was confident that she would be a supportive and exciting partner to share my life with. Obviously, once you make choices, there will always be work involved in making dreams a reality. A healthy combination of thought followed by action though puts you in the driving seat and provides a sample of experiences you can lean on when things get tough in the future.
Why develop the skill?
In our business classes, we take the students through exercises that encourage them to make decisions, to develop the muscle of decisiveness. Often, people find it confronting even when faced with a hypothetical situation to suggest a way forward. It plays out in subtle ways in their lives and without an awareness of what to change, they continue to fumble in the dark. That’s why our business classes have a strong emphasis on testing your ideas and practising authentic and assertive language. Through the process of coaching too, students develop confidence in a private setting and can test ideas, phrases and scenarios in a personalised and quiet setting.
Making great decisions can have an impact that lasts days or even years. So although making a great decision may be a lot of effort initially, it’s worth the effort and time.
Feel free to leave comments or questions below on your own experience with making decisions.
Did you feel more confident after you had? Or did you shy away from future decisions if the result wasn’t quite what you expected?