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Making tough decisions


Whatever the issue, tough decisions can evoke a tremendous avalanche of emotions on all sides and for all parties, if not controlled, can negatively affect a decision maker’s ability to be fair, clear, and concise. {{more}}

As you jump into a tough decision, consider the following:

Involve the right people.  Sometimes tough decisions require the counsel of wise people, people who have dealt with similar situations before and know the ins and outs of how to handle them.  Their counsel will prove most beneficial if their experience and expertise make a seemingly insurmountable obstacle dwindle down into a manageable issue or two.  Just don’t involve too many people and make your decision-making process worse because of differences in recommendations.

Trust your gut!  Most people dismiss their gut feelings or intuition when making decisions in the business world, choosing instead to go with a basic decision-making formula that they’ve been taught.  Trust those gut feelings—they’ll often tell you something is wrong or right and be on point.  This doesn’t mean that you should tell everyone your decision is based on a gut feeling!  It simply means that you should remain open to your intuition and explore ways to substantiate what your gut is trying to tell you.  It’s a warning system that you should heed.

Weigh the facts.  If you’re not into gut feelings or soliciting assistance and you have a bit of scientific wiring in your personality, then put the facts on the table.  Write down the advantages, disadvantages and consequences of all possible options.  Then decide which decision yields the best results. 

Make it quick.  Once you’ve made your decision, do not prolong whatever comes next in the process.  Inform the parties involved and move on.  Do not make the mistake of deciding on an action, then dreading its implementation —deliver the decision, even if it is bad news.  Avoid wasting time and energy. 

Making a decision is not always easy, especially if it negatively impacts someone.  But if it has to be done, don’t stress yourself out and give others false hope.  Stop. Do it. You have other things to get done. 

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to

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