People with clear leadership skills can make decisions and do so with confidence.
They can look at the problem at hand and determine the best route to go, or can think of the future and plot out the next steps to obtaining a goal.
But as any leader will tell you, sometimes finding that confident answer to a decision is not always easy.
Your mind can freeze on what to do next, or you can make a choice and be wary if it was the right one, and if you should have gone a different route.
But studies have shown that most confident decisions have a common thread, and that is the existence of other options.
Having other routes or possibilities that you know about instead of a vague feeling that you could do something else helps you proceed forward with the knowledge that the decision you made was the best one available.
Let’s pretend that you’re at a local stationary store, and you’re picking out a box of envelopes. You notice that one box has 100 standard envelopes, and it costs $5.00.
Now let’s say you peruse the store and find similar boxes of envelopes that also cost $5.00, but which only contain 25 envelopes or 50 envelopes. Now you know that your first choice was a good one after you have looked at your other options.
A recent study that examined the importance of options found similar results. In this study, the researchers had one group trained to make comparisons by asking them to write down the commonalities and differences of varying complex images. The other group was given no such training.
After this process, the two groups (the subjects trained to compare and the ones with no instruction) were asked to answer some questions and state how confident they were about the answers.
While both groups were right about the same amount of time, the comparison-oriented group were much more confident about their answers and felt good about the responses that they gave.
The results of the research indicated that having comparisons boosted confidence, because the subjects had considered all the other options carefully, and based on the other information available, were sure they had made the right call.
Now bear in mind that whether a decision is the “right” one is often never really known. Once you leave your other alternatives behind and choose a way forward, you’ll never quite know how things would have turned out if you had selected a different route.
But by considering your other options and thinking about potential short and long term implications, you’ll have better information to make a decision, now, on what the future benefits and consequences could be.
And knowing that confidence is instrumental in being a good leader (and that projecting a leadership presence will make other people want to follow) by being secure in your decisions, you’ll inspire other people to feel as good about your choices as you do.
How have you made confident decisions in the past? Let us know in the comments section below!