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Organization heads every day face problems ranging in complexity from simple to more complicated ones. They need to make conscious decisions that will affect their organizations. Bad decisions are mostly made by indecisive leaders either directly or indirectly. Their employees can also mislead them into making decisions that have a negative impact on the running of the organization. These leaders are the only ones capable of overcoming indecisiveness in an organization. One of the ways to do so is to actuate dialogues among employees. This can be done through openness, candor, informality, and closure. Intuition is another decision-making strategy used by leaders. Through intuition, managers can detect patterns in various situations and make decisions accordingly.
Analysis of Key Points
Decision making in large institutions, organizations, and corporations involves a couple of steps, including meetings where departmental heads advise the CEO on the best course of action. Some of these meetings, however, end not with finding the best solution but rather with making a decision based on misinformation, which in most cases has negative impacts on an organization.
What You Dont Know About Making Decisions
Important decisions are usually difficult to evaluate in a timely manner. It is often a good practice to have measures that could help to assess the decision making process when it is underway to make sure that an organization is on the right track. One of such measures should be having multiple alternatives. Groups considering multiple alternatives avoid accepting the easy way out and instead engage in better analysis. Organizations should always keep count of the options in consideration to make sure that those tests are met.
Next, a group should test assumptions. Facts are of two types: those that have been tested critically and those that are assumed. Effective decision making groups should try to assess the facts that have not been tested critically; otherwise, they should go forward knowing that they are entering an untested territory. Again, the team should have well-defined criteria of handling competing arguments in form of goals. These goals should then be used throughout the decision making process.
A group must also actively use the culture of listening and debating. According to Garvin and Roberto (2001), the two ways of measuring the quality of a debate are the level of listening and the kind of questions being asked. Questions end deliberations from the listeners open discussions. Listening, on the other hand, enables close to perfect analysis leading to a good decision making process.
The level of perceived fairness is shown by the participation level of the group members after a milestone is reached. A drop in participation is a warning bell showing the displeasure of some members. In general, keeping everyone involved is the most important part of the decision making process.
Conquering a Culture of Indecision
According to Charan (2006), lack of dialogue is the greatest cause of indecisiveness in organizations. Chiu (2007) defines indecisiveness as having difficulty in making all sorts of life decisions. Employees can mislead leaders by saying something or not saying anything. When they express their views only to please the leader, they prompt him/her to make bad decisions. At the same time, by keeping their opinions to themselves, they also force the CEO to make a biased decision.
Indecisiveness is mostly rooted in the organizations culture. The only one able to uproot this culture is the leader. This can be done by using interaction with each employee to foster open and honest critical dialogues. Instilling intellectual trust and honesty is another way of promoting decisiveness in an organization. To establish clear and concise lines of accountability, leaders should ensure that at the center of an organizations social mechanism lies honest dialogue. It, in turn, ensures that good decisions are reached.
Four components are needed for the actualization of dialogue. Openness is when people can share their ideas during a meeting, for example, so that in the End, several possible options can be found when looking for a solution. The second component is candor, which is the willingness to speak about what might seem unspeakable. Candor reveals unfulfilled commitments and conflicts that might deter the organization from being coherent, and it is encouraged by informality. Informality is when employees feel comfortable to ask any question that they feel might have an impact on the decision making process and are also allowed to react the way they are supposed to. Lastly, closure acts as a discipline enforcer. Deadlines are set after decision making is done, and this offers accountability of employees. Leaders should then follow through and give their feedback to the employees to enforce the discipline. If not, indecision might appear again.
When to Trust Your Gut
Sometimes, leaders make decisions relying solely on their intuition the gut feeling. Hayashi (2001) proves that leaders use intuition in solving complex problems where other problem-solving techniques do not work. The decision making process involves reviews and hearings that sometimes take much time. Intuition thus appears to be useful when decisions need to be made in a shorter period. Leaders use inference from the available information, and then intuition to make a decision. According to Dubois, Prade, Pirlot and Bouyysou (2013), the decision making process is driven by both reasoning and emotion.
The gut feeling can be explained in two ways. The first one is connected with various processes of the mind that a person is not consciously aware of that are important to a persons decision making skills. Some leaders manage to apply a particular part of the brain responsible for such processes using various meditative techniques, including listening to music, daydreaming, and jogging. The second explanation shows the gut feeling as a link between the brain and other parts of the body, and, as a consequence, most intuitive feelings are accompanied by physical reactions, for example, a feeling of a pit in the stomach.
In decision making, emotions play a vital role. They help leaders filter the various possibilities promptly. Intuition thus stimulates a decision making process till ones conscious part of the brain can make a good choice. However, there is one important aspect a balance needs to be struck to ensure good decision making skills. The abundance of emotion and lack of it both lead to bad choices.
Most leaders are experts in their fields. Experience helps leaders to be able to make connection between the patterns that exist in certain situations. Thus, this knowledge is used to form a judgment of a certain situation. Leaders can use the knowledge they have in one field to predict patterns in another field, which is a skill known as cross-indexing. This helps leaders to make better choices. However, intuition can mislead leaders into making wrong choices. They can read inexistent patterns and also be deceived by traits of human nature that can negatively influence clearness of their judgment. To prevent this, leaders should have various techniques of self-assessment to ensure that the decisions they have reached are not biased.
To avoid bad decision making, leaders should look for patterns before making their decisions. They should also devise methods with the help of which they can test themselves to make sure they make the right choice. Leaders should also ensure that they give consideration to everyones view.
In conclusion, Garvin and Roberto see decision making as a series of components and never a singular event. People using advocacy are more likely to make bad decisions than those using inquiry. Factors that help to make good choices include fostering constructive conflict, giving everyones viewpoint a consideration, and, lastly, knowing when to close.