3 Powerful Decision-Making Strategies of Successful Leaders

3 Powerful Decision-Making Strategies of Successful Leaders

September 30, 2016

Have you ever experienced analysis paralysis when decision-making?  You know, those times when fear takes over and stands in the way of your success?

That stops today.

You see, to be an effective leader, you must make strong decisions without hesitation.

Of course, that is easier said than done when fear rears its ugly head. So here are three practical and powerful strategies to make decisions. It all comes down to trusting yourself, loving yourself, and teaching yourself.

Powerful Decision-Making Strategy #1: Trust What Your Gut is Telling You

Have you ever taken a test and “gone with your gut” on an answer only to second guess yourself and change it later?  More times than not, your first instinct was the correct answer.

Life is that way, too.

When you fear that you will make the wrong decision it keeps you from accomplishing even simple goals. Yes, oftentimes, fear shows itself in the form of doubt, just like in that test.

The good news, though, is that you have a secret weapon. Even through the thickest clouds of doubt your instinct will kick into gear.

“Go with your gut” is more than a “feeling.” It is actually your subconscious referencing past experiences, according to science.

In fact, psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers said, “Trust your hunches. They’re usually based on fact filed away just below the conscious level.”

That means that your collective life experience guides you each day through your decisions. It’s okay to trust that inner voice. So, stop overanalyzing, go back to the basics, and simply listen to what your instinct tells you.  

Powerful Decision-Making Strategy #2:  Stop Seeking Approval

You have to make the best decisions for your life, your team, your family or your business.

Are you a grown child still seeking approval from your parents? Or are you an employee afraid of what your boss will say if you make the wrong choice? Or perhaps you are a friend who avoids making decisions in fear of upsetting friends.

In any case, just stop!

I’m not saying don’t consider others. I’m also not discouraging you from seeking wise council.  Yet, making decisions based on how you think someone else would choose for you is no way to live your best life.

You are on the front line. You are in the trenches. You, more than anyone, are more equipped to make informed decisions for your life.

Still not convinced?

The next time you feel tempted to make a decision to please someone, ask yourself: Who does it serve to gain this person’s approval?

Make a list of everyone who benefits if you make a decision in hopes of gaining that person’s blessing. Then make a list of who it could harm. Usually, there is more at risk by allowing someone else to dictate your decisions.

Just remember, you can’t hear your own inner voice if you are listening for the validation of others. It’s too important to love yourself enough to make decisions based on what is best for you.

Powerful Decision-Making Strategy #3:  Find Certainty

There is a reason why people fear public speaking. It’s because they don’t know their topic well enough. They don’t know the audience. They haven’t rehearsed their speech to the point they could say it without notes. They don’t have certainty.

So to overcome this fear instigator, be a student of life. Knowledge is power. Knowledge helps make informed decisions and prepares you for the unexpected.

Seek answers even for the “small stuff” and make it a habit to do quick researches when challenges arise. There is so much high quality education out there that is free or low-cost. Google and YouTube can teach you how to do nearly everything now. There is simply no excuse for wondering how to solve problems these days.

Build the habit of learning for fun. One day that “fun” knowledge will overcome uncertainty. It’s an investment like none other, and it will feed your “gut instinct” lying just below the conscious level, as Dr. Brothers said.

And finally, practice makes perfect – we are all familiar with this mantra.  You must not only learn, you must also practice. Practice creates certainty. It builds your confidence, fights your fears, and leads to powerful decision-making.  

Today there just is no excuse to not find answers and move forward with confidence. So, with these three strategies, you no longer have excuses, only solutions. (See how that works?)

It’s time to be decisive.

Change your habits. Learn to trust yourself, love yourself, and teach yourself. Then begin making powerful decisions in your life today.

Which of these strategies helps you make your decisions?

(This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post.)

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