Don’t Make Rushed Decisions
If the issue is serious, never make a decision on the spot unless you absolutely have to. Think it over for a few minutes, an evening, or a weekend, and then go into the office with your answer. Give yourself the time you need to avoid the mistakes that often result from haste.
WHAT IT MEANS: Clearly, decisions can vary considerably in their urgency, importance, and complexity-and so no one rule of thumb fits all-but you should never be pressured into giving a quick yes or no before you’ve given yourself adequate time to think it through. At the end of the day, it’s much more about the quality of your decisions than the time it took to make them.
ACTION PLAN: Make it a point to never make an instant decision if there isn’t a compelling reason to do so. Make sure you have the facts. And then go grab a cup of coffee or take a walk around the block or resolve to sleep on it. More often than not, you have the right to give yourself a little time to breathe-and think it over.
EVEN BETTER: Write it down! List the pros and cons of making your decision one way or another. Listing and evaluating the relevant considerations and potential consequences can be a very useful tool for helping you to think things through. And the very process itself can be a healthy brake on the tendency to make snap decisions.
Underpromise and Overdeliver
This is the one thing you can always do to improve business relationships and reinforce your reputation for reliability: Deliver what you promise. In fact, you should even take it one step further. If at all possible, strive to deliver a little more than promised-or a day or two ahead of schedule. When it comes to being perceived as a reliable professional, there is no margin of error for keeping your word.
WHAT IT MEANS: It’s all about managing expectations. Whenever you make a promise, you have stated your commitment to perform something. As a result, you have created a certain level of expectation-and by scaling down this expectation, you can more easily create a positive outcome. Remember, when you provide more than what was expected by your customer, you enhance any good feelings they already have about you.
ACTION PLAN: Before you make any sort of promise, carefully think through everything you’ll need to do to deliver properly within the time frame you’ve created. Avoid the natural tendency to say yes to everything. If you make ten promises and fail to deliver just once, people are not going to remember your nine successes.
EVEN BETTER: When you think you’re done, and that you’ve kept your promise as well as you possibly can, don’t stop. Try and think of what you can do to do even better. Perhaps you’ll have some ideas that you hadn’t thought of earlier. Developing a reputation as someone who exceeds expectations is invaluable.
Article by Rick Frishman