Communications directors have to make A LOT of decisions. We also get information and input from lots of places, and that can make decision making even harder.
I think it’s helpful to keep in mind some fundamentals that apply regardless of the kind of decision you are making — this goes for personal decisions too!
All good decisions are based on logic AND emotion.
It’s the head and the heart. It’s data and instinct. We are complicated beings, and good decisions depend on us using all we have — not just head or heart. In an office environment, sometimes the logic dominates and sometimes the emotion dominates. You want to find the happy balance that includes both.
Knowing a few basic criteria can eliminate a lot of your choices.
Too many options can paralyze you. You and your team will have more thoughtful discussions if you are only talking about two or three choices at once. What if you feel like you have 15 options? Talk about the criteria for a good decision first, independent of any particular option. Then apply those criteria to your list of choices and you’ll more quickly whittle it down to just a few for a more substantive conversation.
Know what “enough” looks like.
Are you trying to get too much done in one decision? The search for perfection can lead you into endless loops, where you are backtracking and revisiting. Stop! Settling for good enough isn’t really “settling” for something less. It’s allowing you to move on from the decision to implementation, and that’s where you get results. Sometimes you have to be OK with OK.
On June 28, 2018, I’m teaching a brand-new webinar for communications staff called Streamlining Communications Decision Making: From Strategic Planning to the Daily Grind. We’ll talk all about the kinds of decisions that rest with communications staff and how to go about making them.
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