How Can Engineering Leaders Get Better at Making Decisions?

How Can Engineering Leaders Get Better at Making Decisions?

“The only way to make the right decision is to find out which is the wrong decision, admit it, and correct it.” — John C. Maxwell

You can’t be an effective leaders without effective decision-making. Engineering leaders are continually faced with a myriad of choices that can shape the trajectory of projects and teams. So here are three essential strategies to aid you, engineering and technology leaders, in refining your decision-making skills, ensuring not only efficiency but also sustained success.

Practice Mindfulness

Bombarded by so many decisions, leaders often find themselves overwhelmed. The first step in improving decision-making is cultivating mindfulness. This involves stepping back, taking a moment to relax, and detaching from the commotion of tasks and information. By being present in the moment, leaders can reduce stress, enhance focus, and gain clarity. It also turns off the “fight or flight” response which can lead to some pretty terrible decision making.

Mindfulness further serves as a tool to mitigate biases and personal preferences that might cloud rational judgment. A mindful leader is better equipped to make decisions that align not just with personal inclinations but with the broader needs of the team and organization.

Seek Diverse Perspectives

Effective decision-making thrives on diverse perspectives. Leaders should actively seek insights from individuals with backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints different from their own. This diversity helps challenge assumptions, uncover blind spots, and explore innovative possibilities. Seeking perspectives from a range of sources, including experts, coaches, mentors, peers, and stakeholders, enriches the decision-making process. By embracing conflicting viewpoints, leaders ensure a comprehensive understanding of the challenges at hand, fostering more robust and inclusive decision-making.

You aren’t the only one with good ideas!

Learn From Your Mistakes

Mistakes are inevitable, and a leader’s ability to learn from them is pivotal for continual improvement. Rather than viewing mistakes as failures, we can perceive them as opportunities for growth. Reflecting on what went wrong, why it went wrong, and identifying the root causes are critical steps. This introspection enables us to refine our decision-making processes, prevent the recurrence of similar mistakes, and foster a culture of continuous improvement. Learning from mistakes is not just an individual endeavor but a collective effort to enhance the decision-making acumen of the entire team and organization.

As you continue to grow your leadership capabilities (whether or not you have a leadership title), the ability to make sound decisions is critical. By incorporating mindfulness into the decision-making process, actively seeking diverse perspectives, and embracing mistakes as learning opportunities, you can refine your approach. This not only empowers you to navigate the complexities of decision-making with clarity and focus but also ensures the sustained success and impact of your teams and organizations.

Watch more in the video below: