There was a character in Mr. Robot, the famous American thriller series (broadcast on television in 2015-2019), by the name of Tyrel Wellick. When the Chief Technological Officer of his multi-billionaire company lost the position due to an old controversy, Wellick thought no one but he deserves to be the next CTO.
He was confident and was ready to do anything for the position. In fact, he was the most promising candidate, the rising star, the one who chairs important meetings with the CEO of E-Crops, the company where he worked. E-corps a Tech Giant with business in insurance, retail, security, telecom, bank etc; literally owned the world’s economy. But the company had a different choice. In anger and jealousy, he killed the new CTOs wife.
Followed by the event, he with Mr. Robot hacked E-corps data thinking that he is bringing justice to his hurt ego and common public which the company has cheated for so long. As a result, rather than doing any good for the common Americans, it crumbled the entire socio-economic structure, widening the margin between the rich and the poor. In the process, he lost his wife and his infant child as well and became the most wanted man in the world.
Well, my dear friends, this was a fictional example of how failure in taking effective decision in life and workplace can bring disappointment and misery. What Wellick’s biggest fault was his hubris! He already had a great career, but his over-confidence and excessive pride blinded him and he took all the wrong decisions that eventually turned his life topsy-turvy.
Though fictional, the example is very pertinent to real life situations as well; after all, fictions are reflections of real-life problems.
Every day, we make hundreds of decisions! Few are very simple, and routine based while others are complex. Complex decisions involve aspects like common good, risk factor, consequences, question related to social and financial security and so on. Such decisions, personal or professional involve problem-solving and decision – making skills. Pardon me for not holding my philosophical views here, but dear friend, work life and personal life are so intertwined that if one goes haywire, neither facet of life remains peaceful.
So, how do we exercise problem-solving and decision-making skills, individually or in a group?
1. Lesser the options, better the decisions!
I have seen a tendency in myself that whenever I browse through online shopping sites; say for clothes or shoes, I can never understand what to buy. Too many options confuse me. The same happens when we have too many options to decide from. Have you ever considered narrowing down the options to few in such situations and then decide? I believe this is a very effective problem – solving strategy. Deciding from fewer options is the best way to cut off time loss and to come straight away to the decisions smartly.
2. Practice Conflict Management
Say you have a convenience store which has been operating for last 10 years and you have 5 staffs extra that are doing the same work which a proper billing machine and a team of 4 skilled people can easily do. You want to upgrade the standards of your store and work on the same principle of supermarkets, but this would mean laying off the 5 extra staff. You don’t want to hurt people who have been the part of your team for so long.
What you face here can be called as inter conflict. The conflict leaves one confused and indecisive. This is a conflict most team leaders, small business owners and companies in loss go through.
We often get emotionally attached to people, but here one needs to implement the skills of Conflict Management.
One needs to understand the weight of the situation. One needs to understand, what’s worth more? And how it is going to benefit you as a businessman? Once the conflict is resolved, you know perfectly what’s to be decided.
Also, deciding anything that involves more than two people or a group often seems to complicated decision. In such scenarios as well one has to exercise conflict management strategies where there is a ‘win-win’ solution for all the opposing groups by collaborating and compromising on things from every ends.
3. Take Help.
The most ancient and relied upon the technique in use since the existence of civilization is to approach an advisor when you too confused to come to a decision for yourself. Keeping a council, appointing an advisor, seeking legal help and expert suggestions has always helped kings and commons to make vital decisions. It is a wise step to seek help. Now, we can also easily researcher and gather as much information we want online. Say you want to find an online course on management, or you want to decide which car to buy, or which mutual fund to choose! Putting time and brain to learn more about the pros and cons of a given situation can save one from wrong choices and later the sufferings caused by frustrations and anxiety.
4. Learn from mistakes
They say without failure there is no success. When leaders commit mistakes and learn from it, they become better team leaders, managers and business man.
Learning from mistakes, improves problem solving attitude, leads to risk resolution, planning for the future and naturally, to success. Through committing mistakes, he/she takes time to identify the point of error, comprehends how the mistake happened, figures out a probable solution to the issue and then gets going.
Mistakes are better eye opener. When leaders encourage his team to be open to mistakes, the team learns problem-solving success and in the process, brings more revenue, customer satisfaction, quality and better decisions for the company.
ACTSol’s eLearning Institute