How to Make Tough Decisions

This week I will publish a series of articles on the art of using visualisation in your role as a leader. In these articles we will only be dealing with self-visualisation, the art of seeing yourself dealing with a number of the situations that you have to manage, and situation-visualisation, seeing situations and outcomes.

Today we’re going to discuss using visualisation to help you make tough decisions.

First up let me say that making tough decisions does not make you a bad person, neither does it necessarily make you unpopular. Someone has to take responsibility for making difficult decisions.

So, what is a tough decision? It is a decision that you don’t want to make, a decision that you know will be unpopular or a decision where you cannot decide between two or even more options. In each of these situations you will be having a struggle with yourself.

The key to being able to make these decisions is to hold in mind a vision of yourself as a person who can and will make tough decisions. You are not a person who avoids or runs away from difficult situations. The tough-minded self-image helps to put you in the right frame of mind to take difficult decisions.

To make it easy on yourself start by visualising a positive outcome to the situation about which you are trying to make a decision.

Perhaps you are trying to decide which of two people to promote to a higher position. In this instance you might, in turn, visualise each of the candidates in the job. Image them using their skills, abilities and knowledge. Imagine working with them: how well does each candidate meet the job specification? How well does each perform in the role? How well do you get on with each candidate? How do they manage their team? Do they take responsibility? Do their teams like them and respond to them?

Then try to look one year ahead; how is each candidate doing in the future? Are they still achieving the results that you have planned for them to achieve? Are you still feeling happy that you made the right appointment?

The pictures you create and carry in your mind have a strong influence on your behaviour. Make the pictures positive and enjoyable and you will find it easier to make tough decisions.

How to Boost Morale

The country is going through another of those cyclical periods when there is constant bad news about the economy and employment. At the same time prices are rising and inflation is growing. At the same time all the news about the Euro and the European Community is worrying.

People are suffering, jobs are  under pressure. Employers are having to make cutbacks in staff and costs. Everyone is concerned about the source of their income and the cost of living. All of these factors put pressure on morale in the workplace.

So, as a manager and a leader, what can you do to improve morale at your workplace?

First you should understand the underlying emotion that is affecting people. It is fear. The fear that they might lose their job. The fear that they might lose their home. The fear that they might not be able to cope financially.

This is a time when good leaders need to step up to the mark and lead by example. You need to show that you are not fearful. Smile more, talk to your people more, discuss their worries and concerns with them; without being untruthful, reassure them.

The worst mistake that leaders can make at times like this is to distance themselves from their people. It is essential that people are made to feel that they are a part of the team, that they belong, that they are valued.

When times are tough communication is king.