Quick Tips to Keep Emotions at Bay When Making a Decision

Joe Weinlick
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Managers must make key decisions at the office on a regular basis, such as choosing the right personnel, planning the monthly budget or deciding how to run a project. It's a poor practice to let one emotional decision after another dictate how you run your business. Take a look at three quick tips that can prevent your emotions from getting in the way of making important choices at the workplace.

1. Take Your Time

Making the right choice takes time, so do not feel rushed to make any decisions right away. This practice prevents you from making an emotional decision you may regret later. Avoid going with your first impulse, and give your logical, rational brain time to catch up with your cognitive process. When you spend time determining the right course of action, you give yourself a chance to weigh all of the factors. For example, you can consider how the decision will impact your teammates, company budget or the entire firm. As a manager, you must juggle the short-term needs of your staff, but also the long-term needs of the company as a whole.

It may be easy to make an emotional decision when your team is upset during a down quarter or ecstatically happy after landing a huge contract, but you must consider the data and information you have at hand when figuring out how to move forward. Should you save money now or invest money for long-term gains? Should you install automated software and let go of five people to maximize your company's profits? Making such choices is not easy and could have repercussions for years to come, which is why you should always take the time to weigh your options.

2. Create a List

Make a list or chart of the pros and cons of your options to prevent making an emotional decision. Write down your thoughts, organize them and consider the big picture. Simplify your list by using a "pros versus cons" format. If the pros outweigh the cons, then you should move forward with your decision, while more cons mean you should seek a different course of action.

Consider creating a decision-making checklist to help guide your process. How does your decision affect the company's long-term goals? What unconscious biases are driving your decision? What fears do you have with regards to the choices you have in front of you? The idea behind writing out these concepts is to conquer an emotional decision and focus on facts.

3. Talk to Others

Get an outsider's perspective on your decision. That way, you take your teammates out the equation. Talk to a mentor, former colleagues or a board of advisers who have expertise in your industry. Finding a perspective that is removed from your immediate situation can give you insights you may not have thought of.

These three quick tips help alleviate making an emotional decision you may regret later. How do you keep your emotions in check when making choices at the office?

Photo courtesy of Chaiwat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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