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Making Difficult Decisions: How to be decisive and get the business done

Book Description

You are faced with so many difficult decisions. Often your decision making seems random. It can be swayed by different situations and emotions. You need to be more rigorous in the way you make decisions and yet you have very little time to do so. Experience from others who have made tough decisions and a framework to help you do so would be invaluable.

The courage to make decisions is sometimes a bit elusive. It is difficult to find the calmness to be able to make and live with those decisions. There is so much that can be learned from the experience of others. After working through this book you will have the courage of your convictions and the ability to make difficult decisions count.

The book sets out a framework for making difficult decisions that has been tried and tested. It has been used successfully in one-to-one coaching with senior leaders in both the public, private and voluntary sectors. The framework is built on the following strands: Clarity; Conviction; Courage; and Communication.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. Foreword
  4. Introduction
  5. 1. The 4Cs of making difficult decisions
    1. 1. Balancing clarity and conviction
      1. 1.1. The stark reality
      2. 1.2. Living with reality
      3. 1.3. Balancing clarity and conviction where information is partial
      4. 1.4. The balance between clarity and conviction
      5. 1.5. Next steps
    2. 2. Clarity
      1. 2.1. The issue
      2. 2.2. The analysis
      3. 2.3. The way forward
      4. 2.4. Next steps
    3. 3. Conviction
      1. 3.1. The key elements
      2. 3.2. Testing the significance of convictions
      3. 3.3. Next steps
    4. 4. Courage
      1. 4.1. Action
      2. 4.2. Reflection
      3. 4.3. Ensuring progress
      4. 4.4. Next steps
    5. 5. Communication
      1. 5.1. Building understanding
      2. 5.2. Building agreement
      3. 5.3. Taking action
      4. 5.4. Next steps
  6. 2. Taking forward making difficult decisions
    1. 6. Applying the learning from good decision makers
      1. 6.1. A rugby referee
      2. 6.2. A Chief Constable
      3. 6.3. A High Court Judge
      4. 6.4. A UK Ambassador
      5. 6.5. A chief executive
      6. 6.6. Observing others effectively
      7. 6.7. Handling a forthcoming demanding decision
      8. 6.8. Next steps
    2. 7. Embedding the ability to make difficult decisions
      1. 7.1. What are we embedding?
      2. 7.2. Recognising that embedding the ability to make difficult decisions is not linear
      3. 7.3. Creating structures which help embed the ability to make difficult decisions
      4. 7.4. Techniques to embed the ability to make difficult decisions
      5. 7.5. Next steps
    3. 8. Enabling others to make difficult decisions
      1. 8.1. Effective engagement at the heart of good decisionmaking
      2. 8.2. The importance of standing back
      3. 8.3. Following your instinct
      4. 8.4. Building trust in others
      5. 8.5. Next steps
    4. 9. Key questions when making difficult decisions
      1. 9.1. The right questions
      2. 9.2. Questions or assertions
      3. 9.3. What happens when you ask a good question?
      4. 9.4. Next steps
  7. 3. Making diffificult decisions in particular circumstances
    1. 10. Making difficult decisions as the boss
      1. 10.1. Introducing better decision-making into your senior team
      2. 10.2. Changing the values of your organisation
      3. 10.3. Taking a decision when your senior team have differing views
      4. 10.4. Moving a senior member out of your team
      5. 10.5. Being compelled to readdress an issue
      6. 10.6. Next steps
    2. 11. Making difficult decisions in relation to your boss
      1. 11.1. Enabling your boss to face up to a decision they are ducking
      2. 11.2. Influencing your boss to make a decision in support of your favoured approach
      3. 11.3. Holding firm when your boss is demanding an immediate decision
      4. 11.4. Rebuilding a relationship after a difference of view on a decision
      5. 11.5. Next steps
    3. 12. Making difficult decisions in relation to your peers
      1. 12.1. Persuading a peer that the decision they are moving towards is wrong
      2. 12.2. Building support from colleagues for a decision you want to make
      3. 12.3. Building a relationship with peers which provides the framework for effective future decision-making
      4. 12.4. Building a wider network which will enable decisions to be made more effectively in the future
      5. 12.5. Next steps
    4. 13. Dealing with your hopes and fears
      1. 13.1. Handling a situation where you are indecisive
      2. 13.2. Facing a decision you do not like taking
      3. 13.3. Recovering from a wrong decision
      4. 13.4. Holding firm when courage fails you
      5. 13.5. Next steps
    5. 14. Addressing values and priorities
      1. 14.1. Guarding against difficult decisions sapping energy
      2. 14.2. Work and personal priorities are at odds with each other
      3. 14.3. Work and personal values are at odds with each other
      4. 14.4. Balancing long- and short-term priorities
      5. 14.5. Next steps
    6. 15. Next steps
  8. Selected bibliography