“Decisions are the stepping stones you make to move from one phase of your life to the next. To be successful, know where each step leads.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
When called into his boss’ office, he was glowing with pride. He thought, “I took a gamble, made the right decision and now I’m going to get that promotion.” As he walked out of his boss’ office for the last time, with his head hung low, he said to no one in particular, “How do you know when you make good decisions if they’re good decisions?” He was fired for making a decision that caused the company to lose its biggest client.
So, what criterion do you use when making decisions? And to what degree do you know or think you’ve made a good decision at the time you make it? Decision making can be dicey. Consider the following when engaging in your decision-making process.
Every decision will lead in one direction versus another. The variation may be slight. But, if you make a drastic decision that takes you further from your goals, you will have wasted valuable time and effort. Because that will put more distance between you and your goals. Before implementing major decisions, consider the impact that little decisions will have on your goals.
Where Does It Lead:
To be more mindful of the decisions you make, question yourself about where a decision may lead. Ask yourself, what will be the outcome of the decision you make and how will it impact other decisions? Will the possible outcome be too costly to bear? How will I and those that I care about feel emotionally about the outcome? If you sense a feeling of dread during this phase, it may be a warning to abandon the decision(s) you’re contemplating.
Play the ‘what if’ game when considering the decisions you’re contemplating. Ask yourself, what would happen if I didn’t make the decision – where would that leave me? Where would I be if I made it? What would happen next? By posing such a series of questions to yourself, you’ll gain deeper thoughts about where a decision might lead. If it leaves you in a place you rather not be, don’t make it – abandon it.
Decisions have consequences. Consider the ones that are more important more carefully. In part, assess the impact a decision will have on your life or those that significantly impact your life. For greater assessment ask yourself, what combined impact will my decisions have on others and how might that affect me, good or bad?
What does this have to do with negotiations?
During a negotiation, you’ll evaluate a countless number of decisions. Some will be easier to make. Because you will have discovered the paths to take during the planning phase.
For those decisions that might bear strong consequences, consider the outcome carefully. If you think a decision may leave you in a good place now but challenge your position later, it may behoove you to forgo it. There’s always another side to consider when considering decisions. Don’t ignore the consequences of that other side. Don’t make decisions in haste – there may be unforeseen consequences.
Even when a decision can appear to be the light at the end of a tunnel, that light can be a train coming at you. Be mindful of how, with who, and when you make decisions. The more you examine the possibilities of where they may lead, the better a handle you’ll have on the decisions to make … and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!
After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com
To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/
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