Finding the Best Next Step
Daniella Kodjo shares how your team can make decisions
Do you ever feel like your next decision is going to drastically change the course of your life? Could this next decision lead to total success for you and your team? You envision your team on a boat off a beach somewhere, laughing and dancing the weekday away. Aren’t you glad you got that one presentation right back in June 2022? It really made all the difference.
Imagine if you had really messed it up. You chose blue as your arrow colors on the presentation when you knew you should have used light gray. It distracted the client. They decided to get help with their project from someone else, someone who actually knows how to choose the right colors for their arrows. Carol was right. Now you are all screwed. No wonder you are back to scanning papers in an office, knowing this will lead to them not needing you around once you are done with your project.
You might as well just sit with your team and discuss the color choice of the arrow for a few more hours.
Now, not every problem is as high stakes as deciding the color of arrows of presentations, but that feeling of paralysis can keep even the very best teams from effectively making decisions together.
Instead of getting stuck in decision-making paralysis, there are some things you can do to move forward together.
Put the decision in context
Some decisions are life-changing. Other decisions are just moving you forward on a path you are already taking. Try to envision how you will be impacted by the decision 5 minutes, 5 days, and 5 months from now. If the decision is not something you will care about 5 months from now, then try to make the best decision with the information you have now but move on quickly. If you envision yourself still caring in 5 months, ask yourself why. The factors that are still important to you 5 months from now should be considered as you make your decision today. If you are still stuck, remember that you cannot always reverse a decision you made, but you can always find a way to pivot as you go.
Listen to others
There may not be a clear best answer, but there are a lot of people who can help as you make decisions. You will want to listen to members of your whole decision-making team, giving everyone a safe space to share and contribute. Other people have been in your exact shoes or a similar set of shoes before, so hear what they have to say about their experience. Make sure you are listening to the people who will ultimately be impacted by the decision, like your customers, employees, or family.
Experiment with the best next step
When there is still not one clear winning solution, you need to take a step in a direction. Frame the choice you make as an experiment, testing out a solution that seems to be moving your organization in the right direction given the information you’ve gathered from your team and those around you. The best experiments don’t close the door to other options that you are also considering. Once you have given your experiment some time to play out, evaluate where you are, and make another decision to help you move closer to where you want to be.
Reach out for help
I help teams navigate those sticky decisions together. I guide teams to understand the psychological systems that are keeping them stuck, then take teams through decision-making processes that best serve the problem they are facing.
For more information, email me at [email protected]. You can also find me at Haven Collective. I spend most mornings in their Downtown Columbus – Mansion location.