Businesses succeed or fail based on the decisions they make.
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It's not just the big decisions that business owners and executive have to make. Even small mistakes in decision-making at the lowest levels of an organization can add up. Moreover, delays in making decisions can adversely impact office productivity.
So how can organizations make better decisions? The key is training every individual in the organization on how to make good decisions.
Towards that end, here are some quick problem-solving tips that can help you make smarter decisions.
- Be sure you understand the problem. Ask yourself a few of these questions. What are some of the characteristics of the problem? What is causing the problem? What is it I'm trying to solve? By doing this, you will be able to understand exactly what it is you're trying to solve.
- Don't go it alone. Call together a group of people to meet for coffee to brainstorm ideas. With one idea you can build with another. By being in a group you can have fresh ideas. You might have an idea that seems like the perfect solution to you but another person might see the downside of yours but see a solution to it without completely changing the idea. When calling together a group, try to call together people who you can get along with because if there is an argument then it is wasted time.
- Think forward and reason back. Before you make a decision look into the consequences in the future. Will this solution lead to new problems? Think of whether the solution will help or hurt. While this is a very helpful thing to do, don't become too picky. There is no perfect solution. Although it is helpful to go through every idea and find the consequences, don't be too surprised if you come up with a problem for everyone. Instead of becoming frustrated, come up with solutions to these future problems.
- Be willing to compromise. You must understand that sometimes there is no perfect solution. Don't be too determined to fix everything. Instead look for something suitable or satisfying. Of course if you see the "perfect" plan, take a grab for it but always look for downsides. Although something might seem perfect at first glance, nothing is perfect.
- Embrace curiosity and information. Don't be afraid to ask questions concerning the problem and possible solutions. It is better to be informed than to not know what you're dealing with. Also, this way you won't run into the problem of coming up with a solution that either can't be done or doesn't solve the problem.
- Reference past decisions you've made. Look at prior decisions you have made. Come up with what was done wrong and right when coming up with the solution. In other words, learn from past successes and failures. Try to recognize if you're making a similar mistake and try to improve your solution by using the past success.
- Review feedback after the fact. Ask for positive and negative feedback. Many people are scared to listen to negative feedback in case it completely ruins their plan, but if it is a major problem it is something that needs to be fixed. In any case, you can make small improvements.
Once you've done the best you can on making a good decision, you can feel comfortable after it has been done. You won't have to worry if you have made the best decision or if there was something else that you could have done. Remember, don't spend too much time on one problem when you could be moving on to the next.