test your decision making skills

Talk your ideas through with your dog

Tip 5, Week 5: Test your decision before taking action

In our fourth post in the series about better decision making by Trent Moy of Halide, we looked at how to develop more than one solution.  Week 5, our final in the series, is about testing before taking action.

Tip 5, Week 5: Test your decision before taking action

OK – you have thought through a complex issue and made a decision about what to do.  Good work.  But as you know, sometimes the best plan goes pear-shaped when we try to implement it.  The drawing looks OK but the reality on-site is more complicated.  

Ideally, you will have more than one option or solution when making decisions.  Plan A and Plan B could both work but you won’t really know until you try them.  Is there some way that you can test both Plan A and Plan B before actually getting locked-in to either of them?

Here are some tips for testing decisions:

  • You don’t have to go it alone.  Making decisions is not easy.  Talk through your options with a few people that you trust and get their perspectives.  If you have a role-model or mentor that you can’t actually talk to (like a famously wise but dead person that you admire) then just imagine the advice that they would give you.
  • Explain your decision to a rubber duck or your dog.  Remarkably, when we explain something step-by-step to something that can’t interrupt or speak back to us, we discover what we confidently know and what we might need to rethink.  And it’s safe… the rubber duck or dog won’t judge us or tell anybody else.  A simple decision making tool.
  • Stare into the future. Ask how each option will appear to other people in the future.  For example, how will this look to my children, my partner, myself in 10 years’ time?
  • Go for a small trial or experiment before big bang.  Give yourself room to modify your decision based on the experiment. 
  • Can you do some research? Look at whether you can do an online survey, a social media poll, or perhaps undertake some focus group research through an external agency. This research could be to new or existing customers. You can also do A and B testing easily in social media marketing. 

Summary – How to make better decisions

In this series we have looked at a few tips for better decision making.  The good news is that we don’t have to make perfect decisions, we can develop the skills of making better decisions through practice. 

Remember, the enemy of a good decision is not an imperfect decision (or even a poor decision)… the real enemy is not deliberately making a decision at all.

Want more info on decision making in your business, email Trent trent.moy@halide.com.au or comment below.  Next week we’ll provide a short summary.  Let us know how you are getting along applying these skills for better decision making.

About Trent Moy

Trent Moy, the founding Principal of Halide is a business consultant that specialises in decision making and leadership skills.  He is an independent adviser on ethics and on how businesses can achieve better social and environmental outcomes. Trent has over 25 years of expertise in senior management roles, ethics and building motivating cultures.

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