How To Improve Your Team’s Ability To Make Good Decisions In 4 Easy Steps

How To Make A Good Decision When Under Pressure

Following a recent post on linked in a friend of mine said in a previous company he worked for there were only two reasons to be sacked:


  1. Making the same mistake twice
  2. Not making a decision when a decision was needed


For me confidence in our decisions like confidence in anything comes from experience.

When we get something right we feel better which embeds a positive emotion associated with that decision/action. This then has the potential to start a positive cycle of good decisions/action.

Conversely if we have a huge negative emotion attached to a decision/action it can prevent us from making decisions in the future.

Sadly much of this is going on in our subconscious mind so we are rarely consciously aware enough to change it. We just find ourselves either stuck or in a flow of good decision making.

Therefore the question I pose today is:

How can you lead a team to make good decisions without the steep learning curve that might cost the company money?

The default positions seems to be either tell them what because it is then your decision and you can live with the consequences or sack them if they get it wrong.

Neither approach is likely to embed positive emotion associated with a good decision therefore neither is likely to develop on going success with decision making.

How do you improve your management teams ability to make good decisions?

Step 1: Understand  how you make good decisions

Notice what happens step by step as you go through the process for even the simplest decisions like what to eat or whether to take a lunch break.

Then notice what happens when you have to make a more important decision perhaps where there is more at risk.

Questions you can ask yourself are:

What happens when making a good decision?

What happens just before that?

Then what happens?

What happens in between…..and……?

When decision making is like that, that’s like what?

Try drawing or representing how you make good decisions.

By understanding how you personally make a decision you can be more mindful of what resources your teams might need from you to make the decision with the same skill and confidence.

Sometimes the missing awareness is that as the owner you can take the risk you will of course berate yourself and give yourself a hard time if you get it wrong but that has no where near the same weight as someone else berating you. Particularly if your biggest motivator is pleasing others.

Therefore your skills as a mentor could be the number one reason why others cannot make good decisions. They often have another step “will my boss approve?” or “will I get sacked if I get it wrong”

Understanding how to set them up for success and to have the confidence to answer these kinds of questions for themselves with confidence can be at the heart of improving their ability to make a decision.

Step 2: Understand how your managers make good decisions currently

By investing time to understand their existing process it is much easier to identify how your own behaviour could be impacting their ability to make a good decision. Of course it might have nothing to do with you so the trick is not to assume that the solution is they need your permission.

There could be many reasons why they don’t make a good decision fast. By asking questions like the ones above and really listening without judgement or interruption, they can often develop a strategy to over come it for themselves and that might include asking you for permission.

Step 3: Compare your models

By sharing your models you can both learn how to update, improve and modify your process. Clean language allows groups and individuals to create a metaphor/visual of the process which is easier to comprehend and discuss.

Step 4: Develop your own skills to mentor and give effective feedback

By developing your own skills to ask good questions you will allow your management to learn from a perceived ‘bad’ mistake much faster rather than being frozen by the last decision that did not go so well.

By learning to ask questions and be more effective when Manage, Motivate and Mentor you quickly learn how to set up an environment where the intention behind your questions is not to judge, not to assume instead it is simply to allow the individual to develop a strategy or resource for the future.

This kind of culture and attitude can and does create teams that can solve problems and make good decisions faster.

This knowledge led to the development of our two day retreat called Do, Delegate or Ditch. Two days to make a decision, create a plan and learn how you plan effectively and how you make good decisions.

Clean Language once established as a culture in your organisation can give your company the skills and tools to solve a multitude of problems from within. 

If you would like to find out more about how Clean Language has 1000’s of applications to improve the efficiency and performance of your business please do request a copy of our free E Work Book “Success without Stress in 8 Simple Steps” or if you would like to have a no obligation chat please do give us a call we love to listen.

Sheryl Andrews Communication Coach and Founder

How to make good decisions when under pressure