Steps to Develop Decisiveness

by Ron Haynes


July 31 2008  212/366 - Colorful choices!Think back to some great leaders you’ve known or studied. Chances are, one of their characteristics was decisiveness. They knew how to change their thoughts and plans into wise, assertive actions. They moved toward their passions. They didn’t sit around worrying about making important decisions. Worry is similar to sitting on a rocking chair. You may be moving, but you’re not going anywhere.

If you want to develop the characteristic of decisiveness in your business or personal life, take a moment to ask yourself what things might be stumbling blocks that prevent you from making decisions.

My list used to look like this:

  • Feelings that it won’t matter
  • Fear
  • Lack of support
  • Worry
  • Too many choices
  • Procrastination

Develop decisiveness with the next decision you face.

Once I identified my personal stumbling blocks to decisiveness, I used this 5 step strategy to reduce or eliminate those obstructions and began moving forward:

1. I acknowledged my indecision but I took positive steps anyway.
Taking the next step is always the first step toward progress. If you’ve taken the time to break your tasks or decisions into smaller ones, that next step is much easier.

2. I had to learn to accept that no one and no plan is perfect.
I resolved to make the best decision I could based on the information I had available at the time. That’s the best you can do so accept it and quit fretting!

3. I created a “What If” log and wrote down all possible scenarios and how to address them or a plan to address them. Make sure to refer back to #2 here. There are almost always unintended consequences to every action, but you need to have some idea of what will happen if “X” strategy is used. Never leave yourself just two alternatives.

4. I also created a log to record each decision I made. This log turned into a great review tool to help me make future decisions. I didn’t have to create the wheel over and over again and it became a road map for similar future decisions.

5. I reviewed my decisions regularly to help me decide if I was making the right ones. Reviewing decisions regularly and evaluating them was the key to insure that not only was I developing decisiveness, but was developing it by making good decisions. Knowing that you’re making better decisions helps reduce the stress of making them in the first place.

Decisiveness is a characteristic of high-performing men and women. Almost any decision is better than no decision at all. –Brian Tracy

Developing a decisive persona is within your grasp. First, identify what’s in your way, then acknowledge those road blocks and take small steps to overcome indecision. You can do it.

[tags]decisiveness, decision making, decision making process, consequences, business[/tags]

photo credit: ♥Sage (resting… finally!)

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1001 articles on The Wisdom Journal.


The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.


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{ 2 comments }

Avani-Mehta

Journaling and reviewing decisions are indeed good steps towards become decisive. Some additional steps can be found in article : Beginners Guide To Being Decisive

B. Wilde

Sometimes I can get frozen by what a friend of mine calls “multiple rights.” That is to say that you might be faced with two choices and they are both good or right for you. So often we approach decisions in a black and white manner – the choice has to either be right or wrong. Your post reminds me to get out of this kind of thinking move forward. There is also a great book called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers that delves into this topic: http://www.susanjeffers.com/home/index.cfm. You might want to check it out sometime. Great wisdom.

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