Problem solvers look at circumstances with a critical eye, never assuming systems work as well as they should. They’re motivated by risk mitigation and view problems in procedures or systems as weaknesses that jeopardize their future.

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  1. Problem-Solving Leaders
  2. The Problem with Problem-Solving Leaders
  3. Mindful Leadership Decision-Making Solutions
  4. Mindful Leaders Decision-Making Basics
  5. Mindful Leadership Decision-Making
  6. More Recent Articles

Problem-Solving Leaders

The Problem with Problem-Solving Leaders

 

Many employees long for leaders who can solve workplace problems—from flawed systems and procedures to inconsistent policies and managers. They want their leaders to see through the trees and attack forest-sized issues, with the discernment and authority to fix them one by one.

While this sounds great on the surface, employees who report to problem-solving leaders cite challenges that dwarf the problems themselves. Organizations typically benefit from resolved difficulties, but unsound methods or mindsets can exacerbate even the most mundane issues.

Troubleshooting leaders often have skeptical views and have a hard time trusting the workplace culture. They equate run-of-the-mill difficulties with threats to themselves and their companies, prompting over-analysis in their quest to find ideal remedies. Their problem-solving attempts can stymie operations and push people beyond their breaking points. Qualified leadership coaches specialize in helping leaders overcome these tendencies and establish healthier approaches to troubleshooting.

Are You an Obsessive Problem Solver?

Problem solvers look at circumstances with a critical eye, never assuming systems work as well as they should. They’re motivated by risk mitigation and view problems in procedures or systems as weaknesses that jeopardize their future.

Setbacks or glitches are acute sources of personal pain, according to Dr. Beatrice Chestnut, author of The 9 Types of Leadership: Mastering the Art of People in the 21st Century Workplace (Post Hill Press, 2017). Problem solvers persistently look for hazards and make every attempt to minimize, if not eliminate them to improve workplace conditions.

Mixed Outcomes

When obsessing, troubleshooting leaders disrupt the normal pace of business and frustrate their people. They:

  • Are deep thinkers who tend to perseverate over data, diverting their attention away from people and communication priorities.
  • View circumstances with skepticism and need assurances that systems and products are at optimum states, which can drag down those around them.
  • Taint their mindset by overstating negative and minimizing positive aspects, which leads to poor decisions.
  • Are easily paralyzed by analysis and avoid making decisions, thereby blocking progress.
  • Have little trust in processes and procedures, as well as those who adhere to them.
  • Wear people down with endless questions as they seek complete resolutions or fixes.
  • Tend to challenge authority by questioning their motives in supporting the status quo.
  • Can invent negative outcomes to affirm their discomfort with ideas or methods, creating greater challenges.
  • Lack flexibility and a willingness to accept new ideas.

At the same time, problem solvers have some positive traits that benefit their organizations. Leaders who focus on troubleshooting:

  • Are great lessons-learned resources, full of advice on how to avoid past mistakes.
  • Have excellent analytical and problem-spotting skills. They catch errors most people overlook, which reduces waste.
  • Are prepared and calm when trouble arises, as they planned for it.
  • Are unafraid to discuss the elephant in the room, tackling significant issues no one else wants to mention.
  • React honestly, without hedging, grandstanding or bragging.

Ideally, positive traits will outweigh their negative behaviors. Self-awareness can help problem-solving leaders minimize damage to their organizations.

Outward Signs

Adamant troubleshooters have a reputation for being great problem solvers and preventing crisis. As leaders, their effects on people are more prominent. Visibly satisfied by troubleshooting, they’re calmly, systematically and highly engaged in challenges, approaching the process with a self-appointed sense of duty and strings of questions, some of which seem irrelevant or exasperating.

To make their case, problem-solving leaders overstate consequences and minimize advantages, weakening their trustworthiness and credibility. Their critical perspective prevents them from making decisions, as their quest for ideal solutions is virtually unattainable.

Data-driven problem solvers value numbers over people. They’re resistant to intuition and gut feelings, searching for solutions that can be validated quantitatively. Progress is delayed when hard data are unavailable, which creates rifts with people whose experience and input should be valued and trusted.

A Complex Mindset                                                                    

When we work for problem solvers, our survival depends on understanding how they think and feel.

Troubleshooters feel threatened when problems have no readily apparent solutions. They fear their analytical skills—and, by extension, they themselves—are inadequate. A loss of control over circumstances adds hopelessness to the mix.

Many problem solvers deal with their insecurities by fixing things and creating order (everything must be fixed; trouble lurks around every corner.) They rarely recognize their fears or desperate need to feel safe, but they’re prepared and diligent.

Troubleshooting leaders are often the odd one out, taking a minority view. They are empowered by their research, insights, predictions and warnings, and dismiss others’ intuition as inferior to facts. But when data are hard to obtain or seem misleading, they struggle to make decisions. Instead, they will opt for extended analysis, which may uncover other problems.

Problem solvers have trouble taking criticism, which they view as a roadblock to progress, a detriment to morale, and the price to pay for fulfilling their role as protector of the people. It is not their intention to bog things down. Their goals are honorable, though they may pursue them in disruptive ways.

Minimizing Challenges

Problem-solving leaders needn’t forsake their analytical skills or interests, but they can certainly use them in more helpful ways:

  • Develop good personal relationships with peers and subordinates, thus ensuring greater trust in people, processes, practices and products. Rewarding relationships help dull fears of trouble and build greater confidence in well-managed systems.
  • Develop better people skills and recognize how others respond. Leaders can learn to present their ideas more effectively, with everyone’s best interests in mind, and work on accepting feedback and consensus.
  • See, admit and face fears. A coach will point out that searching for problems is a sign of anxiety or negative thinking. A leader’s confidence is the best weapon to override fears and build positivity.
  • Train your staff to tackle lesser problems, and delegate appropriately. Qualified employees with excellent judgment can lighten your load and any associated anxiety.

With a healthier mindset, free from fear and anxiety, problem-solving leaders can manage problems constructively and unify people, without frustrating or discouraging them.

Dr. Maynard Brusman

Consulting Psychologist & Executive Coach
Trusted Leadership Advisor

Professional Certified Coach (PCC), International Coach Federation

Board Certified Coach (BCC)


Our services:

  • Executive Coaching
  • Mindful Leadership
  • Neuroscience - Conversational Intelligence (CI-Q)
  • Attorney and Accountant Coaching
  • Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Workshops

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252

55 New Montgomery St., Suite 505
San Francisco, California 94105

      

The Problem with Problem-Solving Leaders

The Problem with Problem-Solving Leaders

 

Many employees long for leaders who can solve workplace problems—from flawed systems and procedures to inconsistent policies and managers. They want their leaders to see through the trees and attack forest-sized issues, with the discernment and authority to fix them one by one.

While this sounds great on the surface, employees who report to problem-solving leaders cite challenges that dwarf the problems themselves. Organizations typically benefit from resolved difficulties, but unsound methods or mindsets can exacerbate even the most mundane issues.

Troubleshooting leaders often have skeptical views and have a hard time trusting the workplace culture. They equate run-of-the-mill difficulties with threats to themselves and their companies, prompting over-analysis in their quest to find ideal remedies. Their problem-solving attempts can stymie operations and push people beyond their breaking points. Qualified leadership coaches specialize in helping leaders overcome these tendencies and establish healthier approaches to troubleshooting.

Are You an Obsessive Problem Solver?

Problem solvers look at circumstances with a critical eye, never assuming systems work as well as they should. They’re motivated by risk mitigation and view problems in procedures or systems as weaknesses that jeopardize their future.

Setbacks or glitches are acute sources of personal pain, according to Dr. Beatrice Chestnut, author of The 9 Types of Leadership: Mastering the Art of People in the 21st Century Workplace (Post Hill Press, 2017). Problem solvers persistently look for hazards and make every attempt to minimize, if not eliminate, them to improve workplace conditions.

If you can relate to this description, you may have problem-solving tendencies that detrimentally affect your people. If your critical eye always focuses on what can go wrong, you’re likely causing difficulty for others. You may be an obsessive problem solver if you cannot stop yourself from asking diagnostic questions and exhausting all troubleshooting options. You may feel uncomfortable until all uncertainties are eliminated. You cognitively understand that this is impossible, but you’re nonetheless emotionally compelled to try.

Mixed Outcomes

When obsessing, troubleshooting leaders disrupt the normal pace of business and frustrate their people. They:

  • Are deep thinkers who tend to perseverate over data, diverting their attention away from people and communication priorities.
  • View circumstances with skepticism and need assurances that systems and products are at optimum states, which can drag down those around them.
  • Taint their mindset by overstating negative and minimizing positive aspects, which leads to poor decisions.
  • Are easily paralyzed by analysis and avoid making decisions, thereby blocking progress.
  • Have little trust in processes and procedures, as well as those who adhere to them.
  • Wear people down with endless questions as they seek complete resolutions or fixes.
  • Tend to challenge authority by questioning their motives in supporting the status quo.
  • Can invent negative outcomes to affirm their discomfort with ideas or methods, creating greater challenges.
  • Lack flexibility and a willingness to accept new ideas.

At the same time, problem solvers have some positive traits that benefit their organizations. Leaders who focus on troubleshooting:

  • Are great lessons-learned resources, full of advice on how to avoid past mistakes.
  • Have excellent analytical and problem-spotting skills. They catch errors most people overlook, which reduces waste.
  • Are prepared and calm when trouble arises, as they planned for it.
  • Are unafraid to discuss the elephant in the room, tackling significant issues no one else wants to mention.
  • React honestly, without hedging, grandstanding or bragging.

How many of these traits hit home?

Ideally, problem-solving leaders’ positive traits will outweigh their negative behaviors. Self-awareness can help them minimize damage to their organizations.

Outward Signs

Certain observable behaviors expose a problem-solving leader. Taken to extremes, they can wreak organizational havoc.

Adamant troubleshooters have a reputation for being great problem solvers and often catch the CEO’s eye. They may have earned approval by preventing a huge crisis or finding a way to solve a cost overrun. Their detail-oriented behaviors follow them into leadership roles, where their effects on people are more prominent.

Problem-solving leaders are visibly satisfied by troubleshooting. They’re highly engaged as they calmly and systematically respond to challenges, approaching the process with a self-appointed sense of duty. Problem solvers probe situations with strings of questions, some of which seem irrelevant or exasperating.

Skeptical troubleshooters find fault with existing products or processes, believing it’s incumbent upon them to offer solutions. They confront established viewpoints, assuming they have a noble purpose: to heroically correct problems that plague the organization. Their defiance rubs people the wrong way. Tensions flare when troubleshooters focus on perceived threats but ironically overlook the disunity they promote.

To make their case, problem-solving leaders overstate consequences and minimize advantages, which weaken their trustworthiness and credibility. Their critical perspective prevents them from making decisions, as their quest for ideal solutions is virtually unattainable.

Data-driven problem solvers value numbers over people. They’re resistant to intuition and gut feelings, searching for solutions that can be validated quantitatively. Progress is delayed when hard data are unavailable, which creates rifts with people whose experience and input should be valued and trusted.

A Complex Mindset                                                                    

When we work for problem solvers, our survival depends on understanding how they think and feel.

Troubleshooters feel threatened when things go wrong and problems have no readily apparent solutions. They fear their analytical skills—and, by extension, they themselves—are inadequate. A loss of control over circumstances adds hopelessness to the mix.

Many problem solvers deal with their insecurities by fixing things and bringing order to their world. Their mindset is fairly concrete: Everything needs to be fixed. Trouble lurks around every corner and must be snuffed out. These leaders have an innate protection mode.

Problem solvers rarely recognize their fears or desperate need to feel safe, but they’re keenly aware of their preparedness. They’re always ready to dissect problems methodically. They pride themselves on their diligence.

Troubleshooting leaders are often the odd one out, taking a minority view. They notice how few of their colleagues grasp their insights, which empowers them. Their research often leads to predictions, which take the form of warnings to heed their advice. Setting themselves apart from others affirms their belief that their contributions are important.

Problem solvers revel in hard data. They dismiss others’ intuition as inferior to facts. Gut feelings are deemed inappropriate and risky. They require a high level of certainty. But when data are hard to obtain or seem misleading, these leaders struggle to make decisions. Pulling the trigger without enough assurance seems riskier than doing nothing. Appealing to their common sense proves fruitless.

Over-analysis is never a problem for obsessive troubleshooters—the more, the better. Extended analysis may uncover other problems—an effective bonus in the war against trouble. Discovering hidden problems is a delightful find for them, akin to uncovering a treasure no one else has spotted.

Problem solvers have trouble taking criticism, which they view as a roadblock to progress or a detriment to morale. But they often accept it as the price to pay for fulfilling their role as protector of the people. Criticism would be far worse if their careful analysis failed to catch problems.

When working with problem solvers, try to understand their perspective and appreciate their gifts of discernment and analysis. Know that they don’t intentionally bog things down with their hyper-focus. Their goals are honorable, though they may pursue them in disruptive ways.

Minimizing Challenges

Problem-solving leaders shouldn’t be expected to forsake their analytical skills or interests, but they can certainly use them in more helpful ways. All organizations have problems, requiring people with keen eyes and minds to solve them.

Problem solvers can learn to develop good personal relationships with peers and subordinates, thus ensuring greater trust in people, processes, practices and products, Dr. Chestnut suggests. An experienced executive coach can help them reduce skepticism and embrace challenges realistically. Rewarding relationships help dull fears of trouble and build greater confidence in well-managed systems. Getting to know problem solvers and hearing them out helps them appreciate relationships and focus on people over data.

Problem-solving leaders can develop better people skills and recognize how others respond to their actions. A coach can guide them through this process, helping them see how defiant or critical questions invite resistance. Leaders can learn to present their ideas more effectively, with everyone’s best interests in mind—a decidedly more palatable proposition. They can work on accepting feedback and consensus. They can express their intentions honorably and seek collaboration sincerely. Ultimately, they’ll learn to work the relationship side of the equation and be rewarded with better professional experiences.

Chronic problem solvers make the greatest strides in overcoming their foundational fears by seeing, admitting and facing them. A coach will point out that searching for problems is a sign of anxiety or negative thinking. A leader’s confidence is the best weapon to override fears and build positivity.

Uncertainty is a given in leadership and life, and self-assurance is vital to achieving success. Problem solvers know they have the skills to identify and mitigate risks, but they also want to trust their abilities to tackle major issues and decisions. Problems are plentiful enough; no one needs to go looking for more. Train your staff to tackle lesser problems, and delegate appropriately. Qualified employees with excellent judgment can lighten your load and any associated anxiety.

Problem-solving leaders must find an effective balance between their analytical skills and everyday time constraints by allowing others to help them. With a healthier mindset, free from fear and anxiety, they can manage problems constructively and unify people, without frustrating or discouraging them.

Dr. Maynard Brusman

Consulting Psychologist & Executive Coach
Trusted Leadership Advisor

Professional Certified Coach (PCC), International Coach Federation

Board Certified Coach (BCC)


Our services:

  • Executive Coaching
  • Mindful Leadership
  • Neuroscience - Conversational Intelligence (CI-Q)
  • Attorney and Accountant Coaching
  • Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Workshops

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252

55 New Montgomery St., Suite 505
San Francisco, California 94105

      

Mindful Leadership Decision-Making Solutions

Decision-Making Solutions

 

Leaders can use three primary tactics to overcome decision-impairing roadblocks:

  1. Minimize the level of uncertainty.
  2. Raise their comfort level with unavoidable uncertainties (perhaps harder to adopt).
  3. Refine their thinking to process information better and draw reasonable conclusions.

Each strategy contributes to a sturdy foundation for making choices, pointing the way to higher levels of knowledge, improvement and expertise. Leaders can thereby bolster their confidence and heighten their ability to make better decisions.

Notice that the first tactic doesn’t focus on eliminating uncertainty. Virtually all decisions carry some degree of uncertainty. If a situation is 100% certain, it wouldn’t require much of a decision (or a seasoned leader to make it).

Minimizing uncertainty requires the most accurate information available. Leaders can turn unknowns into facts by asking questions and considering as many angles as possible. Thinking outside the norm helps identify obscure issues. There should be no instances of “we never thought of that.” Great leaders take advantage of an experienced team to address relevant issues. Trying to attack decisions alone never matches collective brainpower.

McKinsey’s consultants advise leaders to remember they needn’t know everything. Strong leaders tap the resources at their disposal and admit they can’t do everything themselves. Such transparency also raises the trust they earn. Greater support from respectful followers eases trying to be right, as our culture defines it. Good decisions can still go awry, and a poor outcome doesn’t mean a decision (or leader) was bad. There are too many factors at work behind the scenes, some of which are truly out of your control. Clearer thinking takes this into account and allows greater satisfaction in making the best possible decisions.

Leaders known for their good decisions employ the approaches discussed here, maximizing their certainty, clarifying their thinking and enhancing their confidence. Their decisions benefit their organizations, in lieu of themselves, and garner the respect and trust that seem to be sorely lacking today.

Dr. Maynard Brusman

Consulting Psychologist & Executive Coach
Trusted Leadership Advisor

Professional Certified Coach (PCC), International Coach Federation

Board Certified Coach (BCC)


Our services:

  • Executive Coaching
  • Mindful Leadership
  • Neuroscience - Conversational Intelligence (CI-Q)
  • Attorney and Accountant Coaching
  • Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Workshops

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252

55 New Montgomery St., Suite 505
San Francisco, California 94105

      

Mindful Leaders Decision-Making Basics

Decision-Making Basics

Two fundamental forces determine our prosperity: decision quality and luck, asserts World Series of Poker champion Annie Duke in Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts (Penguin, 2018). Leaders instinctively (and rightly) dislike depending on luck and want their decisions to shape the future.

In our fast-paced world, important issues never become simpler, only more complex. You have less time to take each course of action and make each choice, with an ever-increasing impact on outcomes. Decisions that don’t go well are critiqued and analyzed. The need to make good decisions has never been more paramount—not just for leaders’ well-being, but for everyone under their authority.

People have two different modes of thought when a decision is required, and each has its place:

  1. The automatic, or “flash,” mode is more reactive than responsive. It’s based on instinct and feelings when emergency situations can’t wait for much analysis. Leaders must react immediately or fail.
  2. The analytical mode calls for deliberation and analysis. This is, of course, a slower and more methodical decision process, where time allows for (and requires) thorough evaluation of all options and outcomes. Long-term planning calls for the analytical decision mode, where a leader must respond wisely or fail.

A leader’s decision-making success hinges on resolving the balance between these two modes, Duke maintains. React when necessary, but learn to shape your reactive thinking with as much analysis as possible. Great leaders also learn to prioritize choices that benefit everyone over those that advance their personal agendas.

Decision-making burdens many leaders because each choice rules out an alternative. Other courses of action must be abandoned, and their potential outcomes never come to fruition. This can cause hesitation or paralysis. Leaders are misled into thinking they can hold off making decisions without consequence. But making no decision is in itself a decision, with a separate set of consequences. There’s no escaping it: You always make a decision at every crossroad.

Uncertainty is another challenge for decision-makers. Conditions are constantly changing, and information may be incomplete. Some data are misinterpreted or misunderstood. Some situations are subject to chance, and unknowns may not be recognized until after a decision is reached. Experienced leaders know that even a wisely crafted decision, one made with full analysis and care, can go south. There are no guarantees. Yet, decisions must still be made, and leaders must be held accountable. It comes with the territory.

Dr. Maynard Brusman

Consulting Psychologist & Executive Coach
Trusted Leadership Advisor

Professional Certified Coach (PCC), International Coach Federation

Board Certified Coach (BCC)


Our services:

  • Executive Coaching
  • Mindful Leadership
  • Neuroscience - Conversational Intelligence (CI-Q)
  • Attorney and Accountant Coaching
  • Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Workshops

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252

55 New Montgomery St., Suite 505
San Francisco, California 94105

      

Mindful Leadership Decision-Making

Better Leadership Decision-Making

An organization’s health is only as sound as its leader’s decisions. Some companies prosper from wise leadership directions, while others struggle after flawed choices—the kind that receive extra publicity because of the adverse impact on their organizations, people and communities.

The pressures and expectations that face leaders in today’s demanding climate may prompt a skewed, rushed or compromised decision process. But leaders who approach decisions with objective, rather than subjective, criteria can maximize their organizations’ potential.

Decision-Making Basics

Two fundamental forces determine our prosperity: decision quality and luck, asserts World Series of Poker champion Annie Duke in Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts (Penguin, 2018). Leaders instinctively (and rightly) dislike depending on luck and want their decisions to shape the future.

In our fast-paced world, important issues never become simpler, only more complex. You have less time to take each course of action and make each choice, with an ever-increasing impact on outcomes. Decisions that don’t go well are critiqued and analyzed. The need to make good decisions has never been more paramount—not just for leaders’ well-being, but for everyone under their authority.

People have two different modes of thought when a decision is required, and each has its place:

  1. An automatic mode, which is more reactive than responsive. It’s based on instinct and feelings when emergency situations can’t wait for much analysis.
  2. An analytic mode, which is more deliberate and methodical. It allows for (and requires) thorough evaluation of all options and outcomes.

A leader’s decision-making success hinges on resolving the balance between these two modes; react when necessary, but learn to shape your reactive thinking with analysis. Prioritize choices that benefit everyone.

Decision-making burdens many leaders because each choice rules out an alternative. This can cause hesitation or paralysis. Leaders are misled into thinking they can hold off making decisions without consequence. But making no decision is in itself a decision, with a separate set of consequences.

Uncertainty is another challenge for decision-makers. Conditions are constantly changing, and information may be incomplete. Experienced leaders know that even a wisely crafted decision, one made with full analysis and care, can go south. Yet, decisions must still be made, and leaders must be held accountable. It comes with the territory.

Decisions Roadblocks

Numerous innate traits inhibit our decision-making process. Executive coaches are trained to spot these human tendencies and help mitigate them to manageable levels:

  • Being overwhelmed by a situation’s complexity. The executive consulting firm McKinsey & Company describes this as anxiety, doubt and hesitation that can distort the thinking needed to make a wise decision. Everyone has a specific threshold for discomfort.
  • Associating a decision’s quality with its outcome. Duke calls this “hindsight bias,” which occurs when seemingly unassailable ideas fail after unforeseen factors take their toll.
  • Thinking irrationally. Leaders who struggle emotionally with failure often envision only positive outcomes. They often misunderstand causes and their effects, can’t spot some painful truths and avoid negative ideas.
  • Passing input through a subjective filter (bias). Leaders who rely on a slanted worldview, preconceived opinion or tainted by ingrained belief systems see and hear what they want to believe.
  • Dismissing others’ input. Prideful leaders avoid new thinking, sidestep risks, and cover mistakes to avoid appearing inferior or incompetent.  
  • Worrying about image. Fearful leaders prone to making decisions out of self-preservation, bypass what may best benefit the organization.

Decision-Making Solutions

Leaders can use three primary tactics to overcome decision-impairing roadblocks:

  1. Minimize the level of uncertainty.
  2. Raise their comfort level with unavoidable uncertainties (perhaps harder to adopt).
  3. Refine their thinking to process information better and draw reasonable conclusions.

Each strategy contributes to a sturdy foundation for making choices, pointing the way to higher levels of knowledge, improvement and expertise. Leaders can thereby bolster their confidence and heighten their ability to make better decisions.

Notice that the first tactic doesn’t focus on eliminating uncertainty. Virtually all decisions carry some degree of uncertainty. Minimizing uncertainty requires the most accurate information available. Leaders can turn unknowns into facts by asking questions and considering as many angles as possible. Thinking outside the norm helps identify obscure issues. Great leaders take advantage of an experienced team to address relevant issues.

Leaders who embrace the discomfort of uncertainty make the greatest strides in growth, both personally and professionally. Allow risks to sharpen your focus and determination. Ultimately, you have little control over certain circumstances, so some degree of uncertainty is acceptable. It doesn’t prevent you from making great decisions.

Duke suggests shifting your focus away from how much uncertainty you have to your degree of confidence. Make uncertainty a quantitative and objective analysis rather than an emotional concern. If you can estimate your confidence level, you can gauge where you stand and assess how much improvement you need to be comfortable making a decision. Gather pertinent facts to reduce uncertainty and make the wisest possible decision.

Clearer Thinking

Fact-finding and information management can be taxing, even to seasoned leaders. Emotions influence most thought processes, and leaders can be left with distorted impressions. McKinsey’s experts advise leaders to pause, take a step back and calm the mind. Approach thinking more rationally, and don’t allow anxiety to overrun reason.

Leaders who come to appreciate other perspectives solve problems most productively. Active listening skills are the best tool for engaging staff and enhancing rational thinking. Taking an objective approach, with input and choices, reduces emotional influence, bias, fear and rumors.

Clearer thinking also comes from lessons learned. Leaders who continue to learn, read, ask questions and research gain more real-life knowledge of how their world works. Ask friends and colleagues about their experiences and what they learned. These steps reduce misconceptions and clarify effective solutions.

Our culture draws a heavy line between right and wrong. Duke urges leaders to stop trying to be right. Good decisions can still go awry, and a poor outcome doesn’t mean a decision (or leader) was bad. There are too many factors at work behind the scenes, some of which are truly out of your control. Clearer thinking takes this into account and allows greater satisfaction in making the best possible decisions.

Leaders known for their good decisions employ the approaches discussed here, maximizing their certainty, clarifying their thinking and enhancing their confidence. Their decisions benefit their organizations, in lieu of themselves, and garner the respect and trust that seem to be sorely lacking today.

Dr. Maynard Brusman

Consulting Psychologist & Executive Coach
Trusted Leadership Advisor

Professional Certified Coach (PCC), International Coach Federation

Board Certified Coach (BCC)


Our services:

  • Executive Coaching
  • Mindful Leadership
  • Neuroscience - Conversational Intelligence (CI-Q)
  • Attorney and Accountant Coaching
  • Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Workshops

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252

55 New Montgomery St., Suite 505
San Francisco, California 94105

      

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