Dear Member, December 17, 2018 - Don't be so quick to judge

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It's funny how sometimes a simple thing like a cartoon can have such an impact that it causes a shift in your paradigm. This is exactly what a Facebook clip did to me. I take pride in my decision-making process and this meme challenged my thinking. It conveyed, "Don't be so quick to judge, because you might not have the whole story," and then it showed the twist. The twist in the story caused me to rethink my decision making process. In business you train yourself to be thorough in the decision making process, and to make the best decision you can with the information you have, as quickly as you can. We are tasked with making countless decisions daily. These decisions range simple decisions such as what paper to use to more impactful decisions like whether to refinance, or whether to let someone go.

Developing one's own unique decision making process is crucial to the outcome and success of the business. The approach and process of dealing with this task can be the difference between success and failure. It is important to approach each issue with as much information as possible and to remain emotionally detached. That's difficult. To train oneself to remain neutral, step back, evaluate, and to seek in-put can be essential in making good decisions. It is important to develop a process for decision making and to consistently use the process.

Typically, this means assessing the issue, analyzing all of the components of the issue, seeking input from others with expertise in the area of concern, and using the available resources to investigate. The adage, "Don't judge a book by its cover," conveys an important message. In the business world it is important not to jump to conclusions. How many times have we met someone who is smooth talking and carries themself well and consequently we have bought into their pitch without really investigating? We have all been suckered at one time or another. We assume that this person is cool because they are smooth talkers who drop the names of people, like presidents of organizations and companies or other people we know. We immediately assume they must have clout if they know such and such. Sometimes this confidence in someone can cause you to bypass your typical decision-making process and make a business deal or donation right on the spot. Later, you find this person was nothing but a flim-flam artist. If you had instead relied on your decision making process you probably could have saved some bucks and some grief.

Most of the successful business owners I know employ their own unique decision-making processes, often with similar characteristics: remain objective, weigh the pro's and con's, investigate, and separate enough from the situation to listen to one's gut feeling. 

Make it your practice to get the whole story before making a decision and then to consistently and steadily work through your process.

Work hard, be productive, and above all else stay positive.

Peggy White
Executive Director 
Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce 
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