Ultimately, of course, you can’t know the outcome of any decision. It’s always a leap of faith. I’ve written about this before, but today, I want to talk more about how to empower ourselves to move forward.
When I googled decision making and empowerment to get ideas for this post I got a lot of articles about empowering employees to be able to make decisions. I appreciate that concept. It has to do with trusting people, allowing them to take risks, and giving them responsibility for arriving at the end in a way that is natural for them. Many years ago, before we became business partners, Paul Kimmerling gave me this sage advice on how to be a good boss: 1) explain clearly what is expected; 2) give the tools to accomplish the goals; 3) hold to the expectations.
That’s great in the business realm, but how do you empower yourself (outside of an enlightened job) to move from feeling disempowered, overwhelmed and stuck, to moving forward with ease?
There are many tools for improving decision making skills including developing a systematic approach to evaluation, improving communication with other stakeholders, and building resilience and acceptance of change.
Another key is self-awareness. Self-awareness is a form of mindfulness, of paying attention without judgement. It allows us to know ourselves and our capacities, to know our strengths and the areas that need improvement. “Self-aware people make conscious decisions to enhance their lives whenever possible, learning from past experiences,” says skillsyouneed.com
As I’ve done the work to become more comfortable with myself, I’ve come to trust myself more, and decision making has become easier. In the same way that a good boss can give a coworker the confidence and the tools to make good choices, I can work on developing those for myself in all areas of my life.
A recent study has shown that self-awareness is good for the company's bottom line, too. "Self-awareness is the most crucial developmental breakthrough for accelerating personal leadership growth and authenticity...[K]nowing ourselves is possibly the principal sign of wisdom."
As I have come to know myself better, and to be more aware of my capacities, I have found myself frozen in the face of decisions a lot less often.