Many Assistants are worried about making decisions because they are worried they will make the wrong one.
We have talked about how important it is for Assistants to have space for making mistakes. That is very important.
However, ideally, you want to make the right decision, and there are exercises you can put in place that will help you make the right call. Here are some tips on improving decision-making for Assistants.
Understanding the context of the decision.
Make sure that you have all of the background information required to make the decision. The more details you have, the more confident you will be in your decision-making, and the more reliable your choices will be.
It is always worth thinking about your bias when it comes to gathering the information you need to make a decision. Do you always go to the same information source? Do you always listen to the same people’s opinions? If so, you might be limiting your knowledge.
Seek out other areas of information. What alternative viewpoints are there? Again, if you have a wide viewpoint, your decisions will be rounded and grounded in the reality of what is happening around you.
Write down at least three alternatives.
It might take a little effort and creative thinking, but no other practice improves decision making than thinking through alternatives.
Is there any information that you don’t know?
When making decisions, we often base the result on what we know. It is important to think about what is missing. What don’t you know? This is critical when improving decision-making for Assistants.
What impact will your decision make?
In a day’s time, in a week’s time, in a month’s time and in a year’s time? If the impact is going to be small and not last for very long, this will give you some perspective.
Ask a trusted colleague.
Sometimes a decision is easier to make when you run it past someone else. Ask your Executive to help you work through the decision making process. If you need to make a decision in your Executive’s absence, ask a colleague or another Assistant what they suggest.
Once you’ve made a decision, write down how you came to the conclusion and the outcome.
Writing down the thought process helps embed the practice and you will have a point of reference when you have to make the next decision.
What happened after the decision was made?
Tracking the progress of a decision, especially one that you made correctly really helps build confidence for future decision making. What was the impact of the decision? How did people react?
Like so many things, the more experience you have the easier it will be to make decisions and have confidence that the choices you make are correct and in line with the growth of the business. So with this one, the more decisions you make the better and easier it gets.