Everyone in the room looked at each other. Then they all looked at me. For an hour we had struggled to make a decision. Round and round we went, looking for more information to guide us, wishing we could just walk out and defer our decision. With all eyes on me, it was time to push through the obstacles.
Have you been in this situation? Entrepreneurs must deal with the strategic and tactical decisions that will drive the organization ahead. When analysis paralysis or just plain old fear has you and your team stuck, use these techniques to get to a decision.
Take One Step
What is one thing we could do?
Life is an experiment. Taking one step–any step–will teach you more. Doing nothing teaches us nothing. Taking action, even if it is the wrong one, will teach us something. We can then adjust our course and try something different.
What are you most afraid of?
We often avoid decisions because everyone is afraid to name the elephant in the room. Everyone tip toes around the elephant hoping they won’t wake it up. You are more than 50% to a solution when you name the biggest obstacle in your way. Ask each person, and yourself, about your biggest fear. This can lead to insights as to what is holding back individuals and the group.
Ask Powerful Questions
What would you do if you had unlimited resources?
We get stuck because our frame of reference won’t shift. As a leader, you can use powerful questions to shift everyone’s thinking in new directions. With the shift will come new ideas and solutions to your challenge. If you need ideas for the questions to ask, read “25 Powerful Coaching Questions to Get Where You Want to Go” by Jesse Lyn Stoner.
Set A Deadline
When people know they must make a decision, they will make one. Say:
“We will decide in the next 15 minutes”
You will get push back like “this is too important”, “we don’t have enough information”, “we will make a mistake”, and more. Set a deadline and make people decide. When I look at how many times I’ve done this over the years, I am amazed at how setting and sticking to a deadline not only resulted in a decision, it was always the best decision.
As an entrepreneur, you need to lead your team to make decisions. If you are stuck, make sure that you reach out to your board, mentors, or coach to get their insight and to have them set a deadline for you to make a decision.Tags: deadlines, experiement, fear, questions