I once asked a PR colleague whom I respect enormously to tell me the most important aspect of managing accounts and account teams in a PR agency and he said simply, “making smart decisions.”
If you stop and think about it, this is true from the moment your day begins. You choose the right time and setting for an important meeting, who should attend, and how to best implement the resulting assignment, and you realize your day is filled with dozens of decisions.
Of course some decisions are weightier than others, but whether the question is when to promote a junior staffer or how to phrase less-than-fabulous news to a client, I find one tip enormously helpful and never to be skipped!
Listen to the nagging voice in your head.
Even if it’s just a whisper, if you experience even a shadow of a doubt, question the decision. Take a deep breath and consider all your options. Re-read correspondence and memos to achieve more clarity. Run it by a colleague. But do not make a risky decision – even a slightly risky one – in haste. The consequences can haunt you.
Consider the following with each decision you make:
Risk. Most decisions involve some risk. You need to uncover and understand the risks to make the best choice possible.
Consequences. You can’t predict the implications of a decision with 100% accuracy. But you can be careful and systematic in the way that you identify and evaluate possible consequences.
Feasibility. Is the choice realistic and implementable? This factor is often ignored. You usually have to consider certain constraints when making a decision. As part of this evaluation stage, ensure that the alternative you’ve selected is significantly better than the status quo.
Think you’re a decision-making master? Take the quiz and learn for yourself.