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Decision Making- Better Decisions Fewer Regrets



Kirjoittanut: Aileen Marie Flores Nunez - tiimistä Kaaos.

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Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets
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Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 12 minuuttia.

What’s On the Table?

Team Decision Making: Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets

 

Introduction

Everyday we are bound to make a decision whether it pertains to our personal life, work, relationship, or in team or organization where we belong. We may have some options to choose, or come up with alternatives in some cases. And of course we make a point that it is the best decision we can make and execute. But arriving to this point isn’t always plain and simple. There are also times that after we made the decision we aren’t certain yet if that’s the best and even at the end we regret of working on that decision. So what do we need to do to make a proper judgement and how can we make a better decision and few regrets at least in all the things we decide in our life? What primary questions do we have to ask ourselves before we commit for a decision specifically that involves great impact to our personal life, team and business? For an entrepreneurial team, what do we have on the table? What decision making process will help us come up with intelligent decisions? Do we have to opt for voting or do a dialogue to come up with a team entrepreneurial decision?

 

From the book, Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets by Andy Stanley (2020), he points out 5 important questions to answer before making a major decision. These are considerably the five game-changing questions to ask everytime we make a major decision regarding any significant aspect of our life like our career move, personal and work relationships, finances, and the team or organization where we belong. Stanley mentioned that our decisions determine the direction and quality of our life, and while nobody plans to complicate their life with bad decisions, far too many people have no plans to make good decisions. We either ask poor or mediocre questions or no questions at all when we make decisions which obviously lead us regretting our decisions. So, let’s together discover these five important questions we can ask our selves before we commit for a decision that will lead positive results in our life personally and as a working and business team.

 

Question #1 The Integrity Question: Am I being honest to myself?

 

This first question, might be overlooked most times when we make a decision as we are too focused on the solution or the idea that we need to build. We tend to disregard this and don’t even bothered to consider specially when it’s a team decision, which we at most times felt that of course what is the majority or the consensus would go forward for action. And obviously when the decision fails, we tend to blame others or not holding accountable to it and the vicious cycle repeats without learning a lesson at all. So how could we do this right? Well, to decide a better way, we need to be honest with ourselves, we decide on the things based on what we believe and things we considered non-negotiable when we make decisions. We have to be honest in our decision even if this truth makes you feel bad about yourself. This line alone, sounds so difficult already but there is no other way around getting where you want to be until you acknowledge the honest truth of your self. With this mindset, one can be fully able to take responsibility of the decision made.

 

As a yes person, I tend to have trouble making a decision based on my own honesty as I tried to please others or don’t let them feel bad. And when things don’t work, I easily ditch my self from the situation and won’t feel regret or any remorse at it. But of course I have to experience the negative impact on it and unknowingly in my subconscious it does affect my next decision making. And being in a team, I believe this is the same scenario too. I tend to give my opinion or decide things that I feel would be easy for the team and others but compromising my real feeling. This is why Andy highlighted a disturbing thought that the easiest person to deceive is the person in the mirror. Considerably, we are the mastermind of the many regrettable decisions of our life because firstly we never been honest to ourselves.

 

Having asked this first question on our decision making, it can lead us  to clarity, self accountability, and a genuine based decision.

 

Decision #1:  I will not lie to myself even the truth makes me feel bad about myself. (Stanley, 2020)

 

Question #2  Legacy Question: What story  do I want to tell?

 

Making a decision in our life of any magnitude or consequence you are in, we have to be reminded that what decision we make will become a permanent part of the story in our life. The significance and the impact it will bring will always affect us and with the people around us and will always be a part of the story in our life. The second question to ask ourselves to arrive a better decision with few regret is “What story do I want to tell?”. As said, good question equals good decision. As we unfold our story, we make a decision at a time. This decision makes up the story of your life. So, what story do you want to tell and others to hear? What event in you life you wish to be remembered well and feel proud about it. And being in an entrepreneurial team, there are so many decisions we made and are significant part of our journey. Some were great to tell, but some I would prefer them to be kept for ourselves and learn on it and not to repeat. Of course, you won’t be comfortable sharing your story with all the mistakes you made and even without pointing out your learning and even if you get a lesson there, it is still better to tell something that you made a decision that you are proud of, without any guilt or shame and that made your self and others better.

From my previous logistics job, our company unfortunately need to lay off people. It came a surprise to many including myself being one of the people to go. It was a painful experience and unimaginable event in my life at that point where I was at the peak of my career and enjoying the financial benefits. Of course all of us leaving were so devastated and everyone felt demotivated to work on our last month service. However, on my part, instead to feel bad and stay on that feeling of being unfairly politicized with the decision, I chose to still give out my best performance till my last day of handover. With that, my immediate supervisor commented that he didn’t meet anyone yet in his career life that in spite of being in that situation, he can see my full commitment and dedication to my work even on my last days. Such a thought, I could be always proud of myself and for sure, that story will always be part of his career story to tell to others too.

 

Decision #2:  I will write a story I’m proud to tell one decision at a time. (Stanley, 2020)

 

 

Question #3

Conscience Question: Is there a tension that deserve my attention?

 

I would say this question is basically too connected to the first question, am I being honest with myself. Aside from  making a decision based on honesty to oneself, it is also important to listen to your conscience. Sometimes, we have that inner voice telling us something, that something isn’t right or this is the best thing to choose. When facts are gathered, information bubbles up, and we are weary what to decide and act on, this inner voice in us would lead us to better decisions that we don’t end up regretting. Paying attention to the tension is significant in which at most times we shun away or brush off because we don’t want to think about it or deal with it. Sometimes this internal senses provides us clarity and truth on tricky decisions. When we decide, it is considerably a critical stage and most cases involve risk. We could be in a rush to come up with the decision and act on it, however, when there is that gut feeling, take a pause, pay attention specially on those red-flags that you are seeing or feeling.

Being in a team and deciding as a team, this kind of question could be at times daunting as for sure, not everyone could feel that internal sense about something. However, if you feel that way, you have to say it loud. Either this is a good feeling or bad, it can surely help bring clarity and certainty of the decision making process. The team can give some more time for thoughts before getting into a decision.

Our team used to decide quickly, sometimes to the point of not bringing any enough discussion on the table. And in most cases we tend to go for voting. I would not say voting is bad or not needed, sometime there are circumstances that we have to go for voting. But it is much better that we get to have an intentional and mindful dialogue and come up with a conscious decision. With our wrong decisions and failing couple of times, we learn so many things and are improving on our decision making skills. When we are never afraid to say what we feel and what we believe. We are then feeling more accountable on the decisions we made.

 

 

Decision #3:  I explore rather than ignore my conscience. (Stanley, 2020)

Question #4 The Maturity Question: What is the wise thing to do?

If it’s not wrong, it’s alright. If it’s not illegal, it’s permissible. If it’s not immoral, it’s acceptable. If it’s not over the line, it’s fine. (Stanley. 2020). When we are faced to make a decision, sometimes we would ask this question like in business, is it legal? Is this possible? Is this in the contract? Our answers could be all yes but would our decision be wise enough? Would it be the most intelligent way to solve the problem and create opportunity? Will it be lasting? This fourth question emphasized of doing unwise decision rather than from doing something wrong which we have to live our life beyond those standards.

Stanley suggests to establish  three reference points  that relate to fourth question. He rolled it into one memorable phrase: In the light of my past experience, my current circumstances, and my future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing for me to do? By examining ourselves over these three phases of our life, we can intentionally make a wise decision. We can do and live the life we want and ends up somewhere on purpose. Not simply because it is by destiny or by luck or because that’s what life offers you.

That is why most of our past experiences were with unwise decisions and we are then learning it for our present and future. Yet our past may not be all with unwise decisions and actions, it could be good reference for further improvement and smarter decisions that will provide a happier present and a better future. Remember that our past mistakes will not define us but rather what we truly learn and how we move forward for better is what matter most.

Deciding as a team for us, would always call for enough people to get a dialogue in the first manner, lay on the table all our opinions and views and how we feel and point out what is the goal for such decision. Regardless of any type of decision making process we undertake, it is imperative for us to focus on the problem, look back into our past and it’s lesson it bring so we can have a present that has fewer difficulties and  sacrifices and a future that is full of opportunities and purpose. Taking for example of doing re-branding to our team, taking the many negative events in our past, we feel that it is not giving us a great reputation and even the name itself is already a word that requires explanation and the team doesn’t feel good about it and couldn’t even proudly associate with it.

Decision #4: I will take the past, present, and future into consideration.

 

 

 

Question #5 The Relationship Question: What does love require of me?

 

The fifth and final question is the clarifying question but the terrifying one as it stand guard our consciences according to Stanley. He further emphasized that this question should serve as the guide, signpost, and compass as we navigate the unavoidable complexities inherent in every relationship. “What does love require of me?” The benefit of our decision when this question asked is extending beyond that someone special to us, it’s not about ourself foremost. This last question has no guaranteed ROI as it will not directly benefit us and there is no tangible thing or anything to measure the result of our answer. But it surely position us to make someone’s life and the world better when we have the courage to ask and act on it. Better decisions heal division, restore and improve relationship.

Team decision making requires so much of the purposeful intention for what and how it will benefit to everyone. Apart from ourselves, we put others in the front row to take the gain of the good result of our decision. If we understand our goal, we align our decisions with our mission and vision that ensure a long-term benefit and success in the organization. Even on our personal level, we do think above and beyond the happiness of our love ones as their happiness is our happiness. What benefit them will in the same way benefit you.

Decision #5: I will decide with the interest of others in mind.

 

 

Steps in Decision -Making

 

While we ask those five good questions that will lead us to good decisions, there are also fundamental step process in decision-making which are more on up-front research and information -gathering. These will at the same time go along when we try to answer those questions. With these steps we can avoid second guessing game, it is also translatable and shareable from the top down to bottom of your organization who are involve in the decision, and this will also serve as the road map of the decision making process which can be useful for progress evaluation.

 

Firstly, we need to identify the end goal of the decision making. Point out what is the problem to be addressed and resolved.  “Teams taking in too much data to make decisions can result in an overload trap, which can result in a team metaphorically drowning in data.” Therefore, it’s critical to be strategic at every step of the process. (Smartsheet.com. 2018). So collect and gather only the needed relevant information and identify all the possible alternatives. It is best to ask others opinion and idea, or the people involve specially if it is a team decision.  After, compare all these identified  alternatives against the relevant criteria or the bench mark for your decision. And of course, if you have every information in hand, it’s then time to courageously make that decision and act on it. The execution process may take its needed time before you see the progress, enabling us to evaluate whether the decision is working and a success or it’s failure. Acting the decision doesn’t end there, we need to evaluate our decision , this is a critical part too. Evaluate and revisit the process and its result to further move forward specially when it comes to financial and business aspect. Capture metrics along the way that show successes, failures, the comparative benefits of options you’ve considered, and research into what competitors have done, to help support your responses and keep the process moving smoothly.(Smartsheet.com. 2018).

 

 

 

Team Decision-Making: Dialogue or Voting

 

At the beginning our team used to decide in speed and most times no team discussion anymore. If 3-4 people initiated the subject and agreed then that was that. For those times, it doesn’t just feel right. There was no proper gathering of information and opinions of the team. And if it happened so, we tend to go for voting. It seemed it was the easiest way to get things done immediately, avoiding further different discussion or even into arguments of ideas and views. Earlier there was one Konttori paja we had with Roima and Satku team. There was a discussion and activity for the Konttori name. And In that paja, many people give their opinions and from our team we tend to rush the decision by implying that we shall go for voting. From there, we were asked about how we do our decision making process. Do we do by voting immediately or we do by dialogue. Was everyone in the team able to speak up there ideas and feelings or just by the few. But, as we go along, we tried to be mindful already to do the decision making process properly in order to arrive the best course of action. We learned from our mistakes and we were conscious already of not repeating them. At first it was kind of slow as everyone felt to be more careful however as we look into our team phasing and our financial situation, we realized that we need more force, effort and speed to get things decided and acted upon. At this point in time, I believe that we are at better position now in terms of decision making. Although there are times that projects and work schedules are extremely overwhelming, we always consider having a dialogue and discussion if we need to decide. With the paja we had about decision making, our experience for the past semesters, readings and seminars about decision making, I believe that we make better decisions now that before and things are working well with our team.

 

 

Conclusion

 

 

Decision making regardless its magnitude and scale can affect to your life, work, business, team or organization, and others. Considering the five significant questions as pointed out by Stanley, assuring it can help and guide you to arrive at a better decision without regret or fewer regret. It is a critical part of of any success either in our personal life, work, career, relationship, business and team. These questions are not only to ask yourself but for anyone who needs to make a decision and make his life better. Considering also the basic steps in decision making specially if it involves data and information gathering, can further ensure you make an intelligent decision and no point to regret but leads to success. Also we should not fail to emphasize on making evaluation in our decisions. At times it may sound or look right but when we examine thoroughly, there are things that are to be improved or perhaps at some point could thought of the other option you have at the time of decision making. So, when you make your next decision, take a time to ask your self those five questions, get the right process of decision making, act on it and evaluate. Your life and other’s life and the world will be better to live, your business will be a success, you have great team spirit, a better financial

situation and great relationships with your great decisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

 

 

Eby, K. 2018. Smartsheet. The Definitive Guide To Business Decision Making

Read on 22.04.2024.

https://www.smartsheet.com/business-decision-making-process

 

 

Leading With Questions. 2022. Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets-A Review.

Read 20.04.2024.

https://leadingwithquestions.com/leadership/better-decisions-fewer-regrets-a-review/

 

Stanley, A. 2020. Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets. USA. Zondervan

 

Your Move With Andy Stanley. 2021. Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets.

Watched. 25.04.2024

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVyjjxUEBks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3wZd0v_9Rk&t=1037s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPp45VB-jfw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4nbnz9u96o

 

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