Among the most intriguing areas of decision making is how to ethically influence others to make the decisions that you want them to make. Sales is a classic example of intentionally influencing decision making. Most of us have experienced situations where we’ve felt pressured to buy something and, depending on the degree of pressure, we’ve felt some level of discomfort.
How do you handle heavy-handed influence over your freedom to decide for yourself? Have you ever found yourself trying to sell someone on your desires?
Where do you draw the line when influencing decision making? Can you be trusted to act with respect and integrity for the other person’s right to decide?
Business environments – and especially entrepreneurial environments – are among the most notorious for extremes in decision making. Sometimes, decisions are made quickly and even rashly. Other times, “analysis paralysis” sets in, and it takes forever to get decisions made.
There can be a “Whoa, what just happened” effect where there’s disbelief that a sudden, reflexive decision was made. Or there can be frustration when people have literally delayed so long in making decisions that the issue has often been decided by forces outside the decision maker’s control.
How do you feel about someone who has acted in either extreme? Do you prefer one end of the continuum over the other? Does either approach earn your respect and trust? Have you ever seen either extreme turn out to deliver the best outcome? What has been your personal experience with these behaviors in yourself?
How bold are your decisions? Are you shooting for the stars or keeping your eyes to the ground or going for something in between? Do you seek bold results?
Goethe said: “Each indecision brings its own delays, and days are lost lamenting over lost days. What you can do or think you can do, begin it – for boldness has magic, power and genius in it.”
Imagine bold decisions that you could make that could bring magic, power and genius. What conditions have you required in the past to make those decisions? What is your experience with making bold decisions? How well has it worked for you?
The word “decide” has much in common with words like “homicide” or “fratricide.” A literal interpretation of the word “decide” connotes a cutting – a powerful image in the context of making a decision. The power of decision making can be so strong as to cut away all other alternatives – never to be able to be undone in the future.
Some people pride themselves on never looking back after they have “decided,” and they are the people most in congruence with the original meaning of the word “decide.”
Who are your primary role models in decision making? Do you admire people in history, literature, politics or popular culture who are known for having strong opinions and being decisive?
Do your decisions often have the quality of cutting away all other possibilities, or do you hold some options open even after making a decision?
How do you make tough decisions? Do you put them off, talk about them, ignore them or embrace them and get them over with? Decision making is a skill that can be improved with both practice and mindfulness over time.
Napoleon said, “Nothing is more difficult and, therefore, more precious, than to be able to decide.”
Everyone has a different decision making style. What is yours? Do you consider yourself decisive? Are you the kind of person who makes a pro and con list? After you decide, is it final; or do you continue to ponder the question? Does your approach vary depending on the situation?