29 Jun 4 Steps to Easy Decision Making
Do you ever find it difficult to make a decision? Do you ponder for days and days, weighing up the pro’s and con’s but still find it challenging to take action? Here’s a simple but highly effective set of questions to ask yourself (or people you manage and coach) to explore the outcomes and consequences of decision making.
Ask these 4 questions in the order they are laid out (and after each question you can also ask ‘and what else?’):
- What will happen if you do ‘X’?
- What won’t happen if you do ‘X’?
- What will happen if you don’t do ‘X’?
- What won’t happen if you don’t do ‘X’?
The best way to understand how powerful these questions can be is to share an example: During a coaching session with a client recently I asked her, “What if you did stop doing so many consults and dedicated some time to managing your practice?” And that’s how we got to the place of further exploring the idea using the Cartesian Questions.
Seeing her responses to the questions may give you some idea of how powerful these questions can be.
Question 1: “What will happen if you do consult less and commit dedicated time to managing your practice?
I will feel great! I will be able to focus and get things done. I will feel in control and that I am making progress to creating the practice I have always wanted.
I love my job but I never really get to enjoy it because I’m always so busy trying to do more, beating myself up, haranguing myself, trying to cover up my feelings of overwhelm and failure. I will be able to plan, take action and make it happen!
Question 2: “What won’t happen if you consult less and commit time to managing your practice?”
Well, I won’t lose my identity as a vet. We won’t go out of business. Clients won’t leave. No one will think badly of me taking this time to plan and manage the practice because I’ll be in control, less stressed and taking action. My team won’t lose respect for me (it might even grow if I did the things I promised).
Question 3: “What will happen if you don’t consult less and commit time to managing your practice?”
Things will just stay the same. I’d be still a good vet but a struggling business owner! I’ll feel a failure that I am letting my team, my family and my clients down. I’ll be exhausted and overwhelmed. I would continue to work hard but with no real plan or structure. No hope just hard graft! I and others will burn out!
Question 4: “What won’t happen if you don’t consult less and commit time to managing your practice?”
We won’t grow. We won’t attract the right clients. We won’t attract the right team members. We won’t be the practice of choice. I won’t be able to build the practice and team I have always dreamed of. I will fail.
Using this simple questioning opened up this practice owners mind to the possibilities of taking discretionary time to plan and manage the practice. Each week she now commits 1 full day to planning and getting things done. The practice has not collapsed since she stepped away from consults for one day, it has started to increase its performance as standard and processes, that improve the team harmony and client satisfaction, have been put in place.
By Debbie Robinson