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Have you cultivated the habit of being decisive at work?

One of the hardest parts at work is when you have to deal with a leader who is indecisive.

If they dither and cannot decide what to do, it will make you doubt their ability.

And, it will not inspire any confidence for you to follow them.

This is also the case with your co-workers. If a colleague is indecisive, you will think that they are trying to play it safe, or they lack understanding or courage to decide what to do.

Ketchum Inc., a global public relations firm founded in 1923 that offers marketing, branding, and corporate communications services, published a survey called the Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor in 2014.

The study explores the perceptions of over 6,500 people from 13 countries, across five continents. It looks at the connection between effective leadership and effective communication.

Their research found that of all the traits that can help a leader or leadership aspirant build credibility, the three skills that make the biggest impact are open communication, decisive action, and personal presence. So, aside from being an expert communicator with charisma, you need to be decisive to move up in your career.

A lack of decisiveness is a huge problem that many people have.

The core competencies of leadership at work are the capacity to be resourceful, and the ability to make decisions. You have to become apt at making decisions.

You must increase your self-efficacy and have confidence in your ideas, if you want advancement at the work-place. Shillyshallying around on how to solve a problem makes you look incompetent in the eyes of your superiors and workmates.

To get promoted, you must make qualified yet quick decisions. However, you must be prepared to justify your actions, and take responsibility for them. Good or bad; you need to own the outcomes that are derived from your judgement.

Here are some ideas to help you with creating a personal culture of sound decision making.

Remember that being swift about decisions does not mean being reckless. A major flaw that many exhibit is that they do not think deeply about the overall consequences of their actions, and they do not consider all possible outcomes.

Any decision you make at work, will have ramifications that you need to be ready for. As soon as you decide on an action or once you delegate a task, be prepared to answer questions.

And, a decision you make at work, does not end just there. The result that comes out of your decision is crucial.

You will be better placed to decide efficiently if you thought about all the permutations of your actions. This will mitigate any foreseeable problem.

You will be rewarded when your superiors see that you can defend your actions.

The perception must be that you have invested significant thought into your decision making process.

Next; once you have decided what your best course of action is, do it with sureness and strong personal conviction. Do not sway and vacillate because that will make you look like a poor leader.

Armed with confidence, be open to alter your decision if you find that something is not working as you planned. But again, remind yourself that your team or your boss needs to believe in your plan.

They also need to believe that you will lead them to the right result.

The final notion I would like to reiterate is that you have to take responsibility for your decisions.

Regardless of the result, you must step up and be answerable. You will earn the respect of people when you are transparent.

I am more likely to follow a leader who owns up and works at making things better, than someone who refuses to admit their mistake.

My partner in the Crackhouse Comedy Club, Malaysia’s only dedicated stand-up comedy club, Rizal Van Geyzel is someone that I know who has demonstrated this ability.

Rizal is arguably one of the best stand-up comedians in Asia. Currently, together with the doyen of Malaysian comedy, Douglas Lim, and 3 other regional comedians, he is in a show called Comedy Zone Asia at the world renowned Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2017.

The show has already received critical acclaim. This event is one of the three largest comedy festivals in the world, alongside the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival.

Rizal dabbled with comedy since 2009, but decided to leave his day job in 2013 to pursue a full- time career as a stand-up comedian. In 2014, he co-founded the Crackhouse with me and another partner. Since then, he has grown steadily through excellent decision making skills.

From the onset, he understood the personal implications of leaving his job. He had to take full responsibility for his own well-being, in a rather precarious industry. It would have been no one else’s fault if he could not make a decent living as a stand-up comedian.

He also went into to this vocation with the strong belief that he would make it as a stand-up comedian. And he went all in with no safety net. He mustered up the confidence to go for it.

Through my dealings with him as my business partner and friend, I know that he takes full responsibility for his actions.

When things sometimes go wrong, he does not blame others. He steps up. And when necessary, he alters his ways to make things better for all of us.

Have you cultivated the habit of being decisive at work?

Shankar R.Santhiram is managing consultant and executive leadership coach ay EQTD Consulting. He is also the author of the national bestseller “So, You Want To Get Promoted?”. The writer can be reached at [email protected]

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