The act of choosing; selection.
The power, right, or liberty to choose; option.
Choice consists of the mental process of judging the merits of multiple options and selecting one of them.
Every minute of our lives, we are ‘Choosing’ i.e. selecting a course of action that brings about a particular effect. In other words, our process of choosing provides the cause and based on the choice we have an effect that affects us.
In our daily lives we go through this process without even realising it. Where the effect has a low impact or is part of routine we don’t ponder on the choice for long. But when it’s to do with an issue that we feel is important, we do take our time to evaluate all the information we have and then ‘Choose’.
Yet, many a time, as professional managers, there are choices (for our careers, for our work and for our self-development) that we make where do not fully exercise C.H.O.I.C.E.
Choice is six simple steps that have been very helpful to me in decision-making. Here’s how I use it:
Clarity Honesty Objectively Intelligently Commitment Express
- Understand what the problem, issue or opportunity is clearly. Without clearly understanding the issue we won’t know what information we need to solve it.
- Be clear on the result that you want i.e. the goal you want to achieve. Without clarity on the end result, we won’t know the destination we want to arrive at.
- Be brutally honest with yourself and your team in identifying the problem or issue.
- Be equally honest in evaluating if you have the required resources and ability to deliver the chosen course of action to achieve the goal.
- Be rational in planning each step leading to the goal. Identify the skills, expertise and resources needed, who has them, where you can get them from and at what cost.
- Make the team members understand the problem and the solution recommended and how their individual skills and expertise would help in providing the solution to the problem. This will help in the team understanding their own responsibilities and value. In addition, it will help the team in developing trust for each other by knowing that individually they can’t achieve but pooling in their collective skills and working on each step together will bring them to achieve the end goal.
- Obtain the necessary information that you need to make an objective choice.
- Use information to fill in knowledge gaps where applicable i.e. a new market entry for a product—research the consumer segment, know all about the consumer’s need for the product you are going to introduce, understand competitive environment.
- Be committed to the task at hand. Show passion for it and own the project: A team that sees commitment will invariably be motivated to deliver their best as passion (with facts) is a very strong influencer in team dynamics.
- Communicate always with your team, your superiors, and peers. Express your thoughts and your point of view succinctly and take feedback. This shows your willingness to make the choice based on rational and beneficial facts and empowers your team to support you in the decision-making process.
So the next time you need to make a choice, use these six steps. You may just surprise yourself at how smoothly you’d achieve your goal.
If you found CHOICE helpful then you’d like –‘A new look at your business‘.
Coming next– ‘What’s your purpose in business’.