To: (Multiple email addresses may be specified by separating them with a comma)
Do Decisions Right — The weight and moral nature of issues should be considered when making decisions. Above all, seek God’s guidance.
BY Dave Durand
I have a
difficult time making decisions. I see other people in my office just whip out
answers like factory workers assembling products. Is there a way I can speed
things up and still make good judgments?
I am impressed by the several
aspects of decision making you’ve referenced in your pithy question. You
mentioned the facets of speed, quality and judgment. All of these are important
things to analyze when addressing this issue.
Let’s begin with speed. The weight
of the issue should always be considered when considering the speed of the
decision. Choosing an item from a lunch menu should take less time than picking
out carpeting. Of course, discerning a career should take longer than both. Be
careful not to overvalue speed. The fact is that many decisions that appear
fast to you may have taken more time than is apparent.
Good judgments are usually not the
spontaneous “blurt outs” that you portray them to be in your question. They are
more of a thought process made up of unseen efforts like learning, gathering
and filtering information. People who appear to decide fast often have done a
lot of research that enables them to be swift when it is time to make the
Sales people like selling to that
type of person because they know what they want, and their conviction makes the
sales process go very swiftly. The fast buyer may appear to be spontaneous, but
instead, he taps his knowledge and only needs a small amount of information or
reassurance in order to move forward with confidence.
Likewise, people who have core moral
convictions don’t deliberate on issues that are clearly right or wrong. The
moral nature of an issue is the deciding factor more than the details of the
individual situation. Abortion is a good example of this. A person without core
convictions can be swayed by any number of variables, including the age of the
mother, her financial situation, the health of the baby, and so on. All of
these issues delay his ability to make a good decision.
Now let’s address your points of
quality and judgment. The quality of a decision is not always measured by the
actual choice that is made. It can be measured by the “management” of that choice. Sometimes people make poor
decisions but later recognize their mistake while the decision is still playing
out. If you are smart enough to not overestimate yourself, you stay alert and
you can observe whether or not you might have made the wrong choice. For
example, a manager who hires one person over another needs to observe the
behaviors and results of the person she hires. If she made a poor choice, she
may need to rectify its results by doing what Warren Bennis, the leadership
professor, calls a “redo.”
Life gives us lots of redos if we
are humble enough to accept them. We can’t take away the past, but we can do
our best to minimize the damage done by poor choices. We can ask God to write
straight with our crooked lines by empowering us with wisdom and perseverance
when we miss the mark.
Our best decisions are made when we
are in a state of grace. So be sure that you are living in accordance with
God’s will and receiving the sacraments frequently.
business consultant Dave Durand is online at DaveDurand.com.