Effective communication skills will always be crucial for leaders. However, some leaders might not realize how the timing of their decisions is just as important as the message they communicate.
Leaders are called on to make decisions in a timely manner particularly when there is a crisis or there are risk and opportunities that occurred due to change. They can’t afford to be indecisive, because if all leaders adopted this philosophy absolutely nothing would get accomplished.
You must have the ability to evaluate information and respond quickly. If you are not keenly aware of the latest news in your marketplace, or of your company’s financial, operational information, and internal culture, you are most likely perceived as hesitant in decision-making.
Keep in mind decision-making is an important competency for leaders, but it is not simply the ability to make quick decision that is important; it is the knowledge of the complex issues facing you and the ability to make a judgment call that is balanced and appropriate.
Think about decisions you have made in the past, were you slow to come to that decision? If so, you may lack the confidence to take command of situations where rapid decision-making skills are required. You might have difficulty sorting through complicated situations or resist making a decision fearing it will be wrong.
You have to get over a fear of making a wrong decision, and learn how to make quick-decisions.
Here are some tips to help you out:
- When you learn of an issue that has the potential to affect your organization, take steps to look into it as quickly as possible. The steps may consist of informal meetings with others affected by the issue, or a more formal investigation of the problem.
- Hold periodic update meetings as a way to catch problems before they get too big. Listen for information suggesting that people are having a hard time getting support and resources, and take steps to resolve these problems.
- Analyze your concerns about making decisions. Find common patterns. For example, you may be uncomfortable making decisions involving technical areas with which you are unfamiliar; or you may delay making decisions while you are awaiting more information.
- If you have difficulty determining which of several alternatives is best, don’t immediately go to others for a decision. Instead, force yourself to choose one of the options and develop a rationale for why that alternative is best. Then seek input. Tell others the alternatives you have identified and your recommendation, and then ask for their opinions.
- If you have a tendency to second-guess yourself, stand by your decision once you have made it. Avoid reopening the decision-making process unless new information strongly indicates a need for reconsideration.
When you start to make decisions in a timely fashion, you’ll most likely be regarded as a decisive person who knows how to handle crises in a take-charge manner.