If you’re in charge of an organization and you’re trying to make decisions, you should consider focusing on finding the balance between facts and empathy. The most important thing to consider when making any decision is whether or not it will benefit your team in the long run. If you can reach this goal with reliable, easy-to-access information based on facts, then you’ll want to rely on that data when making your decision.
As leaders, we are often in situations where tough decisions must be made. Whenever possible, seek out information that helps you empathize with all sides of an issue. Once you have a better understanding of each side’s perspective, your ability to make better decisions should increase significantly. Many times a difficult decision can become much easier when you take a minute to step into someone else’s shoes and consider their point of view.
It’s no secret that emotions play a role in decision-making, especially in group settings. When debating decisions, be aware of how emotions might sway your rationale—and do what you can to mitigate their influence. To decide which solution will work best for your organization, put yourself in others’ shoes: be open-minded about what might matter most to those who you serve.
When working with people, be sure to set clear expectations at every step of your process. This will help avoid confusion in more complex situations. It will also give you a baseline from which you can review your performance; when something goes awry, take a look at what you’ve communicated along the way and figure out if there’s any room for improvement or added clarity.
A decision that requires empathy should never be made hastily, but it also shouldn’t be made in a vacuum. You have an obligation as a leader to understand both sides of any issue. Once you have absorbed all relevant information, look for ways you can apply your emotional intelligence (EQ) skills. So: What is happening? How does it affect each person involved? Is there anything we can do about it? If so, how will we go about implementing that solution?
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