How to Deal with Distractions While Making Crucial Decisions

You’re making a crucial decision and a few stakeholders want to air unrelated concerns or grievances.

Distractors bring up peripheral issues when crucial decisions are under consideration. 

Distractions include:

#1. New opportunities.

You can’t move forward on all fronts at the same time.

When making crucial decisions someone usually says, “What about …?”

Suppose you’re moving into the medical sector and a sincere distractor asks, “What about manufacturing?”

Explore new opportunities early in the decision-making processes, but every crucial decision requires clarity and courage to close the door on other opportunities.

#2. Immaterial weaknesses.

Accountants call small discrepancies immaterial when doing audits. They aren’t worth the time and effort to deal with.

Sincere distractors bring up unrelated weaknesses at high stress times.

Small concerns easily distract decision-makers because the principle that bad is stronger than good comes into play.

Crucial decisions create high scrutiny. But some weaknesses aren’t relevant.

  1. Is success likely even though you have weaknesses? Move forward.
  2. Is improvement necessary in order to move forward? Make improvement.

General principle: Accept imperfection and move forward imperfectly.

#3. Personal agendas.

Crucial decisions have winners and losers. One departement moves front and center. Another department moves out of the spotlight.

Crucial decisions delight some and sting others.

When established leaders distract organizations from crucial decisions at the eleventh hour, ask,

  1. What are your concerns?
  2. How is this relevant to this decision?
  3. How can we make this less painful?
  4. How might you add value? (Assuming they want to make a contribution.)
  5. Is this a deal-breaker for you if we move forward?

Don’t let sincere distractors use ‘new’ opportunities, immaterial weaknesses, or personal agendas to divert focus from crucial decisions.

Your team, spouse, friends, or boss dilute success and limit potential when they create distractions.

How have you seen the decision-making process go badly?

What crucial decision-making tips and practices help leaders navigate this area?