Every day, you’re faced with decisions. Some decisions bear little impact on your life, but others can have monumental consequences. The decisions that leaders make can impact their entire team. Maybe they need to make a finance-related decision, diffuse a difficult conflict or make a staffing change. However, it’s not only leaders who need to know how to make better decisions. Professionals in all roles need to know how to weigh their options with clarity and decisiveness.

The next time you’re faced with a big decision, it helps to ask yourself a few questions to arrive at the best choice. Suzi McAlpine, a leadership development specialist, has coached leaders on how to make better decisions by walking them through four specific questions. We share these questions in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

1. Is there a third option? McAlpine says that in the book “Decisive,” Chip and Dan Heath warn us to beware the binary. You may think you only have two options, but maybe there’s a third alternative or a way to do both. Take time to think through all the possible options. You may have overlooked some choices the first time. When you know you have all the options on the table, you can make your decision with more confidence.

2. What advice would I give a friend? This is a worthwhile question to ask yourself because, often, we can’t see the forest for the trees. McAlpine says this is one of her favorite coaching questions to ask because it gets people out of their heads long enough to take a more objective perspective. When you contemplate this question, ask yourself, “what else?”

3. What are my values, and what do they say to me now? Values act as your compass in leadership, McAlpine says. Before making any big decision, make sure you are clear on what matters most to you. Know what you will and will not do. You may arrive at a decision that isn’t the easiest path, but you can be sure it aligns the most with your values.

4. What decision-making biases might be at play here? There are all kinds of biases that can impact decision-making. For example, overconfidence bias is having excessive confidence in what may happen as a result of your decision. Confirmation bias is looking for facts or data that support the decision you want to make, while ignoring evidence to the contrary. We all suffer from decision-making biases, McAlpine says. The trick is knowing which ones might be at play when you’re faced with a decision.

Life is full of decisions. Being able to think strategically before making a big decision can help you in your career and life. Think through the questions above to help ensure you arrive at the best possible outcome.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Suzi McAlpine, a leadership development specialist and author of the award-winning leadership blog, The Leader’s Digest.