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Help Your Team Make Smarter Decisions

You can't make all the decisions all the time. Here's how to get your team up to speed.
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Every day, your employees are making decisions.

While some are more important than others, it's in your best interest to help them develop a strong ability to make good ones. How can you do that? Read on for a few helpful tips.

Lead by example.

To help your employees make good choices, you should make good choices yourself. In other words, model the kind of behavior you'd like to see in your workers. You can't expect people to make good choices when you're setting a bad example. But when you make good choices, you'll set the bar high for your organization and people will follow.

Offer choices. 

Never dictate how your employees should do their jobs. Instead, tell them what the goal or desired outcome is, then let them figure out how to get there. You'll find that people develop their own approach to getting things done and will make many good decisions along the way. They won't always get it right, but by giving them the opportunity to try, you'll encourage them to make good decisions.

Give them permission to make mistakes. 

Making mistakes and suffering failure is how we learn. If you don't allow your employees to make mistakes or if you punish them when they do, they will never learn how to think for themselves. Picture a bike with training wheels: If you don't take the wheels off, your child will never learn to ride without them.

Praise good decisions. 

Most of the time your employees will make good choices, and when they do, you should let them know you appreciate it. You'll get more of the behavior you reward, so make it a point to praise the people who are doing things well.

Offer feedback--good and bad

If you don't offer immediate feedback, it will be hard to tell which choice was a good one or not. Make it a point to offer regular feedback, explaining the impact it had on your organization and customers and why you want to see more or less of it in the future.

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IMAGE: Martin Barraud/Getty
Last updated: Sep 17, 2013

PETER ECONOMY

While Peter Economy has spent the better part of two decades of his life slugging it out mano a mano in the management trenches, he is also the best-selling author of Managing for Dummies, The Management Bible, Leading Through Uncertainty, and more than 65 other books, with total sales in excess of two million copies. He has also served as associate editor for Leader to Leader for more than 10 years, where he has worked on projects with the likes of Jim Collins, Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith, and many other top management and leadership thinkers. Visit him at petereconomy.com and follow him on Twitter: @bizzwriter.




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