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Decision making

The risk of making rash decisions

Rash decisions:

  • hitting ‘send’ on an email while you were still angry
  • making an impulse buy
  • parting ways with a rude client
  • tweeting something that your mother wouldn’t be impressed with
  • agreeing to a project that sounds appealing at the time, but is not the best business move.

We have all made rash decisions, making us a risk to our own businesses. We need to understand our own emotions and how we operate so that we don’t make a decision that we will later regret.

Your reactions won’t always be right. Sometimes you don’t always have the luxury of time before you make a response but if you do, take it.

For example, let’s have a look at the humble email.

Emails can cost professional relationships and careers, particularly when someone hits the ‘send’ button on an email when they should have waited and considered it with a cooler head.

Before you hit the send button, think. Don’t discuss sensitive issues in an email. It might be better to pick up the phone, or even better have face-to-face discussions. Email is convenient, but lacks cues of the spoken word and body language. When you speak face-to-face people can understand the tone you are using, ask questions and discuss issues as they arise. It’s far too easy in emails to assume wrong conclusions.

Never react to an email in anger. You can easily say things in an email that you would never say face-to-face, and this is unprofessional and toxic. Sometimes you might need to ask for a second opinion on what you plan on emailing someone, and if in doubt abandon the email for a direct conversation in person.

What about your purchases?

When it comes to purchasing things often our decisions are based on an underlying psychological factor such as boredom, loneliness, depression or frustration. How many things do you have in your home or office that you have purchased and you look back a few months later and wonder why on earth you made that purchase?

The same can be found for business growth decisions. I have met small business owners who have reacted to a situation, such as a lack of sales, and rather than pick up the phone to follow up enquiries or previous clients, it is more comfortable to spend money on random marketing tactics.

With every business decision, take time to consider.

  • Why am I going to make this decision?
  • Is this the right time?
  • Should I get a second opinion?
  • Will I lose this opportunity if I delay?
  • Have I considered alternative options?

What about you, are you impulsive?