It's natural to worry about making a bad or wrong decision during a high-pressure situation. If we had the opportunity, of course, we'd all prefer enough time to analyze the situation and work through all the alternatives; however, that's not always the case.
So, how do you handle the anxiety of managing quick, important business decisions? If done right, pressure can result in focused attention, clear thinking, and unambiguous priorities.
Looking for some leadership expertise on the matter, I reached out to Matthew Eichhorst, president of Expedia CruiseShipCenters, for perspective. As head of the leading land and cruise travel agency in North America, he offered 5 helpful tips to help manage the pressure of making quick business decisions.
1. Be Knowledgeable of the Facts
The better you understand all elements of the decision, the stronger of a position you'll be in. Do your research, and analyze information to help clarify the problem and inform the solution. If you know all the facts like the back of your hand, you can quickly call on them as you're working through your options.
2. Visualize the Outcomes
Go ahead and make predictions and visualize the outcomes of the various options you have available. Ask, what are the short-term effects? What are the long-term effects? What stakeholders will be impacted? What new programs, initiatives, tools will be needed as a result of this decision? Do we have the infrastructure and budget to support these? By clearly predicting the outcome of your decisions and challenging yourself to visualize where this puts you in a day, week, month, year, etc. will help you regain your perspective.
3. Find Balance Between Data and EQ
Data is great, but the overwhelming amount that might be available to you could actually hinder your decision-making abilities. Make sure you also rely on your emotional intelligence to guide you.
4. Embrace the Journey of Finding your Answers
It is important to consider other viewpoints outside of your own, so be open to receiving--and incorporating--feedback from your friends, your business peers, your vendors, your clients, etc. Once you've done your due diligence, create the optimal condition for the answers to find you. "When I'm faced with making a big decision, I'll sometimes put the decision making on the back burner temporarily and take the time to explore new terrain on my dirt bike, cruise around on my Harley, or play a round of golf," Eichhorst shared. He adds, "This helps to clear my head and depressurize the situation."
5. Have a Bias to Action
Once you've analyzed the facts, made a decision, and developed a plan, take action and commit to it. Once you've started executing the plan, it's harder to fall back into indecision. Throughout the process, it's important to thoughtfully take risks, and recognize that when it comes to big decisions, sometimes we must fail in order to succeed.