How to take effective decisions in difficulties?

A manager and for that matter a leader is supposed to take decisions. He has to make policies for the team under him to deliver results within the set pace. A manager is a leader who needs to take effective decisions in difficulties. Managers face such a situation in a time of crisis. Businesses and organizations normally have well-defined job descriptions and discretionary powers at the level of the management hierarchy. It works fine in normal conditions. But the difficult, uncertain times and circumstances pose a challenge for effective decisions.

Nothing remains normal in volatile situations as the facts keep on changing beyond calculations. Such are the times when leaders have to offer “out-of-box” solutions. That situation calls for setting their reflexes in super-fast mode. Testing time is a trial time for leaders to prove their acumen as well as leadership qualities. The following tips can help to make effective decisions.

Setting Purpose

A little brainstorming will help in setting straight the very purpose of what a leader is going to decide. Ask questions to make the things relevant to the demand of the situation and the decision to be deliverable. Turbulent times are not normal times to handle a prototype set of leadership qualities. A crisis needs an evaluation to work out the right strategies. The following points are vital to consider before arriving at a decision.

  1. What are my feelings?
  2. What is happening around?
  3. What can we learn from it?
  4. Why do this?
  5. What we can’t avoid?
  6. Are the facts true?
  7. Is this the only option?

This exercise can help to clear the blur view of the facts making clarity in understanding the situation and taking the right decision.

Innovative Thinking

  • In normal circumstances, managers make routine decisions that keep a bar on their thinking.
  • Usual matters never need unusual thinking to resolve.
  • Tough situations prompt you to come out of your comfort zone.
  • Understand the gravity of the challenge and think out a fit response.
  • Lead your team to gird up to understand and face the challenge.
  • Lead from the front to boost their morale.

Past – The Trusted Mentor

Learning from experiences even from the mistakes of the past is the best way to avoid repeating. Your past is always the best-trusted mentor that never misguides. The uncertainty ignites fear but at the same time, it is an opportunity. Be brave to grab it. Referring to your past experiences will enhance your creativity. You can be a winner this time if you could have survived earlier.

Be a Good Listener

A leader’s role is not of a dictator but a compassionate father. You are the major stakeholder and hence will be the major loser if your decision falls back. Your team is looking for you to guide them. They have all the dedication, but the direction is your domain to set. The direction however must come out of consensus. Consult with all stakeholders. Take your team in confidence, discuss your game plan, and brief them about the challenges. It is your team at the end that has to implement the decisions.

Ask for opinions and suggestions from the team and other stakeholders. Listen attentively, and carefully with a lot of patience. Don’t be critical while listening. It is not the time to evaluate. Let them finish with all the details they have in mind. Don’t confuse them. A little concentrated listening can provide you with the key points for making effective decisions.

Make it a Collective Responsibility

Nobody is ever perfect. Build a decision based on all workable suggestions from the team. It will make your decision a common asset for the whole team. It is the team that has to implement the decision. Better if everybody is happy with having its own and taking it as a collective responsibility.

Clearing Confusion

Deciding on difficulties is a string of ifs and buts. It only confuses me. Check the database in your mind, evaluate your opinion carefully, and compare it with the suggestions. Only then shape it into steps and a chain of action. Then be single-minded on implementation. Clear all the confusion from your mind. Put all of your hard but sincere efforts to make it a success. Settle on less than success is a half failure.

Believe in You

You are not the only one, but a major stakeholder. Others can have a face-saving in case of a fallback but you don’t. Believe in yourself and believe it strongly. The options exist, only before taking the decision. Now is the single option of implantation. A failure can be out of oblivion but it must not be out of short sights of implementation. Success is your celebration but facing the fallback with honor is a leader’s job.

Odds are Options

The element of unpredictability is part of the management game. Never be afraid of it. Rejecting fear over the unknown is your strength to make it an option. Another option in the mid of uncertainty is a sure bonus. Do you dare to cash it? Be a little wise when brevity doesn’t work at all.

Assessing Risks

Managers and leaders normally respond to risks. If the risk is not immediate we start ignoring it. Make a 360 change to your risk assessment approach. Risks are the beauty of work and life as a whole. Never allow them to blast as a bombshell. Know the techniques to locate and defuse it at an appropriate time. You have enough time before the timer starts ticking.


  • uhayat
  • The author has rich management exposure in banking, textiles, and teaching in business administration.