Many Assistants are worried about making decisions because they are worried they will make the wrong one.
We have discussed 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.
Ensure 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 considering your bias when gathering the information you need to decide. 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 broad 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 essential 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, a week, a month and a year? 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 when you run it past someone else. Ask your Executive to help you work through the decision-making process. If you need to decide in your Executive’s absence, ask a colleague or another Assistant what they suggest.
Once you’ve decided, write down how you came to a conclusion and the outcome.
Writing down the thought process helps embed the practice, and you will have a point of reference when making 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 your choices 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.
As Assistants, making decisions is something that can come with a lot of pressure and insecurity. But by learning to ground ourselves in our values and, most importantly, not to be afraid of making mistakes, we can become better decision-makers and use this skill for future goals.
Taking the time to learn these valuable techniques could drastically improve our decision-making skills and give us more direction when considering challenging tasks in the future. If you’re eager to equip yourself with the best tools available to maintain strong critical thinking, why not enrol on the Assistant Mindset Online Course? It’s full of guidance to help you navigate the Assistant role with increased confidence and clarity.