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Success Advice

3 Simple Ways To Make Better Business Decisions

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decision making

Business owners and managers always rely on making the right decisions, in terms of following trends and bringing innovative ways to make their business more successful.

But dealing with the process of making decisions and making the right choices, with risks of failure and success factors on the way, is seldom an easy task. Many professionals have problems connected to insecurity and not enough intel to deem confidence and take properly balanced risks when coming up with a decision.

While no one can establish a clear view on the definite outcomes of a decision, one must think ahead in terms of considering the possible ones, and make a quality risk assessments before implementing any decisions.

Decision making guidance serves a linear process compiled of few stages, among which the basic steps are:

  1. Identify the problem
  2. Generate alternative solutions
  3. Evaluate and choose among alternative solutions
  4. Implement and monitor the chosen solution

But if you consider the decision making process as a linear one, you cannot just stop at the steps above and wonder how to go through with each, without considering a methodology for the decision making.

Here are three simple methods that can provide you with guidance when making a decision:

1. Make a pros and cons sheet

The first way to go through the decision making and elaborate alternatives and outcomes is through the use of a balance sheet. This technique is very useful in problem solving, and I guess decision making and problem solving are interconnected, as they both need to reach an outcome.

What you do is take a simple pen and paper, and draw a line on the middle, making one side free for pros and other for cons. You elaborate why a certain alternative is better or has smaller risks, in comparison to the others, for which you have also made assumptions about. This balance sheet method is a very practical one, and relies on documenting facts and assumptions, and though it may seem too subjective, is a valuable method to support the decision making process.

“As a bull market turns into a bear market, the new pros turn into optimists, hoping and praying the bear market will become a bull and save them. But as the market remains bearish, the optimists become pessimists, quit the profession, and return to their day jobs. This is when the real professional investors re-enter the market.” – Robert Kiyosaki

2. Use the technique six thinking hats

Another decision making methodology is the use of a very stimulating technique, that is called Six Thinking Hats. You can see the more visual interpretation of its description in the mind map below.

The six thinking hats technique, encompasses a way to introduce six ways to look at things: facts, feelings, process, creativity, benefits and cautions, and they are all represented by six different colors for a more stimulating effect.

While “wearing” each hat, the person looks at the decision from different perspectives, giving a variety in the choosing, but a way to stimulate the risk assessment and the scores of possible outcomes.

The white hat is the objective view on the situation and relies only on facts, data and figures, without considering subjective thinking or emotions. The blue hat signifies control of the process and is used to manage the thinking process by observing guidelines of the process.

The red hat marks feelings and relies on intuition, and places emotions without explanation. The green hat is focused on creativity and freshness of ideas and induces lateral thinking. The yellow hat symbolizes the optimistic side of looking onto outcomes and explores the positive values and benefits of the situation. The black hat is the critical thinking hat where the risks and negative sides are being considered.

3. Mind mapping

I am a fan of new concepts and frequently incorporate another famous technique into the decision making process, called mind mapping.

Mind mapping is a visual technique to organize ideas and information. The product of mind mapping is called a mind map and is nothing else that a specific diagram, representing a central topic branching out to subtopics that elaborate the central subject, in this case a problem or a decision to be made. This tool is used to generate, visualize and structure ideas and aids decision making and problem solving, by being able to see the big picture.

“Many think of memory as rote learning, a linear stuffing of the brain with facts, where understanding is irrelevant. When you teach it properly, with imagination and association, understanding becomes a part of it.” – Tony Buzan

Since we cannot surmise all advices or tips to take into account when delivering any decision, or when you go through the decision making process, but you can take into account some of the following:

  • Make sure you are sufficiently informed and put aside any conflicts of interest;
  • Value information and document it in any form as evidence;
  • Take account of all relevant factors and ignore any irrelevant ones;
  • Always think through actions that are within your powers and try to act upon them;
  • And last but not least – make decisions that are within your range.

How do you make important decisions? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Joel Roberts is an entrepreneur and a project manager with more than 12 years of experience, working with Seavus Project Viewer – a standalone viewer for team members who need to view and analyze project plans. Passionate about ideas and innovation management, she uses mind mapping software on a daily basis to organize, plan and improve her work. Her articles have been featured in more than a dozen project management and business websites. You can follow her on LinkedIn.

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Success Advice

20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator

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Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.
 

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.

 

2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.

 

3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.

 

4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.

 

5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.

 

6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.

 

7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.

 

8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.

 

9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.

 

10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.

 

11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.

 

12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.

 

13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.

 

14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.

 

15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.

 

16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.

 

17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.

 

18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.

 

19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.

 

20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.

 

By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at AweBliss.com so you can master your life with more success.

 
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Strategic thinking helps CEOs build successful businesses. It helps them establish everlasting enterprises. It is one of the key elements of decision-making. It is different from strategic leadership. It differentiates between leaders from managers.  (more…)

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In this world of distractions due to information overload, it has become a big challenge to focus our minds

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