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The Art of the Decision (Part 2)

Last week, I wrote a post about decision making.  The article was focused on how to make good decisions.  But I realized after I wrote it that I left out an important step in the decision making process…that’s communicating the decision once it’s been made.  So, here’s part two of my decision making post.

Last week, I wrote a post about decision making.  The article was focused on how to make good decisions.  But I realized after I wrote it that I left out an important step in the decision making process…that’s communicating the decision once it’s been made.  So, here’s part two of my decision making post.

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Have you ever seen that happen?  People who make a decision and then don’t tell anyone?  I’m not sure why that happens or how it happens but I see it all the time.  I assume it’s because people don’t like communicating.  Or they figure that everyone will eventually find out the decision so why bother spending the extra time actually telling people in advance.  Hopefully, it’s not that they’re so self-absorbed that they just don’t care about anyone else (but maybe).

Here’s a workplace example that I’ve dealt with more than once:

Two internal candidates are up for promotion – let’s call them Joe and Joann.  The manager interviews both candidates and decides on Joann for the job.  Instead of telling Joe he wasn’t selected, the manager just tells Joann that she’s been promoted.  Joann starts taking on her new responsibilities and then, one day, she runs into Joe.  Awkward moment arises.  Joann now has to tell Joe she’s the one who got the promotion.

So, when all of these people end up in the human resources office (because you know they will), here’s what you have:

  1. Joann is upset because she had to tell Joe she was promoted and that’s not her responsibility.  (And, she’s right.)
  2. Joe is upset because he found out from Joann that he wasn’t promoted and that just stinks.  (And, he’s right.)
  3. The manager’s credibility is down the tubes because they didn’t communicate properly and in a timely fashion.  (And, the manager isn’t going to instantly get that credibility back – if ever.)

 

The moral of the story is, sometimes we have to make tough decisions and communicate unpleasant messages.  Always remember that empathy and honesty go a long way in this world.  And decisive managers who can communicate effectively are a highly valued commodity.

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