Failure to make decisions is worse than making wrong decisions. At least you can change wrong decisions. You can learn from bad decisions.
Failure to decide is surrender.
Strong people grow feeble until they make a decision.
Today’s question: What decision do you/we need to make?
Before you go very far in a conversation, determine the decisions that need to be made. You infuse conversations with meaning when you ask, “What decision do we/you need to make?”
Unfocused conversations propagate the myth that things get done when we talk. Meetings suck because people feel they did something, when all they did was talk.
Today’s question provides focus for people who talk too much. When the conversation goes astray, interrupt and say, “I’m lost. How does that relate to the decision we/you need to make?”
When someone starts a conversation with you, ask, “What decision do YOU need to make?”
Use “you” instead of “we”. It’s not enough to make decisions. Leaders enable others to make decisions.
Making decisions makes people feel powerful.
Provide guidance for people to make decisions.
- Highlight values that inform decisions. Roy Disney said, “When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.”
- Describe and discuss outcomes.
- Explore impact on others.
Not enough information:
Delay makes tough decisions tougher and bold people timid. Ask, “If this is all the information you will ever have, what decision do you need to make today?”
Decisions don’t matter until someone takes action.
Peter Drucker said, “Unless a decision has “degenerated into work” it is not a decision; it is at best a good intention.”
Tip: Use today’s question in meetings or when people walk up to you with a question.
When is it not appropriate to ask, “What decision do you/we need to make today? When is it appropriate?
Other posts in the “4 Questions” series: