Making Tough Decisions

There comes a time in business, and in general life, where you are faced with making a difficult decision. Many people will take a gamble when it comes to tough choices, while others allow their emotions to get the better of them. Difficult decisions can be agonising and complex, but by taking the right actions, you can lessen the challenge and allow yourself to be content with the results.

In a way, decisions are a form of transaction at their core. Your decision may be the choice to spend your resources, such as your capital, your time or your mental energy, on an outcome. These resources are often finite in some way, so it is important to recognise which resources are at your disposal before you make the choice. For example, when I work with my development team on a new project, I first look at the number of developers on my team and their availability. I understand their skill set, enthusiasm and experience in relation to the task at hand. By identify what resources you have at your disposal, you can work towards making an informed decision.

Sometimes, it can be easy to let your emotions, wants and pride affect your ability to compare the pros and cons of a difficult decision. This is why I say that it is vital that you only gamble with something you can afford to lose. Through measured introspection, you can identify what is important to you and weigh the potential upsides and risks against one another.

There are some situations where you might surrender your control to take a more passive stance, while other times you may exert control over unpredictable situations. The right path is somewhere in the middle, and the key is to do what you can to influence a positive outcome while recognising at which point you may no longer be in control. This goes for making difficult decisions; you must find the facts, compare the pros and cons and make a choice. Then, once that is done, you must understand that the result of your decision is not within your control.

Regret only comes when you have made a hasty move or committed to a path without being properly informed. Following a structured algorithm for decision making will help you live with the consequences of your choice, whether they be positive or unexpected. Decisions aren’t always fun and easy to make, but they are always challenging and often rewarding, and with the right practice, decisions can turn into something manageable.