The team I work in often comes to me for the quick decisions. I have the ability to make a decision under pressure – in those situations where any decision is a good decision. (Are they always the best decisions – no of course not !).
I also see most things as just a problem to be solved and the sooner it is solved the sooner we can move on.
However in the last few weeks I have literally forced myself NOT to make a decision, or have a response to a situation.
Here are the 5 times I think that dragging the chain, or slowing down action, is an appropriate plan of action .
1. When we are over tired.
Not just normal tired that most if us live with in the 21st Century. The “I have just been through a very busy season, have not been sleeping well, really need a holiday ” tiredness. None of us make good decisions when we are overtired.
2. When we are angry or hurt.
We should rarely make a decision out of an emotional response. I had to make a decision in the last week about something that had caused me to feel a little hurt. I forced myself to work through the hurt, to process it and then to make a decision that was rational and calm, and ultimately better for all concerned.
3. When we know you don’t have all the information.
I often have people come to my office with a story about some misdemeanour or other one of our students have committed. Experience, learned the hard way, now means I make sure I talk to the student involved and any other people involved to get as complete a picture as I can. I do this before I make any decisions or recommendations.
4. When we need to get people on board.
It is important to involve people who will be effected by a decision. They often can see things from an angle that you won’t and can help you make the right call. If you leave them out of the process they will resent the decision and have more trouble implementing it. I work with lots of contract lecturers who have diferent schedules. This means it is difficult to meet to work through decisions. However it is always worth it to involve key stake holders.
5. When the decision has long reaching strategic implications – obviously.
These decisions need time, counsel of many, the wisdom of Solomon and lots of prayer. These are not really the sort of decisions I am addressing here.
Obviously there are may times when a quick decision is a good decision. However these are a few times when I have experienced the power of dragging the chain.
What about you ?
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