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Making smart decisions


Decisions are made every day in the workplace; employees decide when to help customers and the extent to which they will help those customers. Business leaders make choices that affect the entire company, customers and employees. As an empowered employee, it is important to stop every now and then and examine your decision-making skills.{{more}}

Good decision-making skills are a necessity, regardless of the position you hold. Of course, some decisions carry heavier consequences than others, but the bottom line remains the same. Every employee needs to know how to make decisions that make good business sense, are ethical, keep the customer happy, and are based on a rare quality—basic common sense. When you make your next decision, consider the following:

1. Make sure you understand the situation. Consider all the facts and look at all the different opinions, even the unfavourable ones, before you decide on a course of action.

2. Consider the consequences to your decision. Every decision has positive and/or negative consequences. Examine the different outcomes and figure out which outcome is most appropriate for the circumstance.

3. Use time wisely. When decisions need to be made urgently, try to get a few other objective minds involved, in the event you overlook something; otherwise, take the time to think and examine the issue thoroughly.

4. Try not to get too emotionally involved. As humans we tend to let our emotions get the best of us, especially when we’ve been proven wrong and need to retract a previous decision. Stay calm and try not to get nervous, flustered or even angry.

5. Is it ethical? With the flood of business executives being accused of and prosecuted for inappropriate conduct, especially with company finances, make sure to look at your decisions through ethical lenses. We all have different personal standards, so use your company policy as a guideline. If your company does not have a policy, read the Ten Commandments. Regardless of your personal religious beliefs, the Ten Commandments contain a basic guideline as to what is acceptable in society, even today.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.”
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