Time to make the difficult decision that you don’t want to make, but know you need to…
Some decisions are easy when it comes to being able to understand and accept the rightness of it as well as the outcomes and impact on potential stakeholders. Many other decisions, however, are gut-wrenching. We agonize over the right path, or more often, we know the path we need to take, but struggle to come to terms with how it might affect someone else involved. The hard truth is that there is probably a decision in your life right now that feels conflicting and difficult, but it must be made. And now is the time.
- Time to replace someone that should have been let go months before.
- Time to place a boundary on a difficult relationship.
- Time to change jobs though it will be painful.
- Time to be honest and challenge those you work with to step up their game.
- Time to confront someone being dishonest.
Whatever that difficult decision is for you, now is the time to jump off the fence and make it. We all know the feelings of anxiety and doubt, and that oftentimes it seems easier to just not decide – to not take the risk of beginning something new or ending something old and familiar. In reality, however, we all know that waiting and hoping for things to change without taking proactive steps never truly solves the problem. Things rarely change on their own and, actually, tend to get worse rather than better when we tiptoe around the decisions we know must be made. That’s why it is time to make it.
Take a look at a few of the practical ideas below to help you get started on the road to confronting your difficult decision:
- Write out your decision/words first and show a trusted friend. Drafting something in an email that you have to show to an objective person forces you to lose the drama and focus on the facts.
- Be “for” the other person as much as possible. Let them see that you sincerely want the highest possible good for their life.
- Communicate in the same way that you would want them to communicate with you.
- Be succinct, direct, compassionate, and clear.
- Reiterate your points and ask them to respond back so you know that they have heard you and understand you.
In the movie Moneyball, Brad Pitt plays a GM who asks his analyst to let one of the players go. Unfortunately, the process goes horribly wrong and the analyst can’t seem to do anything right. Brad’s character corrects the situation by making the tough decision that would most benefit the team, though he does so in a kind, direct, detailed, and clear manner. Ultimately, the team improves and the player responds appropriately, thanking his coach for the chance to play.
You Can’t Afford to Stay on the Fence
Similarly, all people involved in a difficult situation are better off with timely, clear, and honest, yet compassionate decisions and communication. One more tool to help you reach these decisions is the dreaded deadline. Despite how intimidating they can be, deadlines force you to organize. They give you a clear mark on the calendar and empower you to prepare for the decision communication and follow up process.
When you make the hard choices you establish clear direction for your organization. Do the right thing – the hard thing – and you will be glad you did in the end.
If you’re interested in learning more about how decision making and tough choices affect your leadership, we’re happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let us know!