The one thing everyone on the planet has in common is we have all made regrettable decisions. I know I have and some of them still haunt me.
I’ll show you someone who is either not being honest, or someone who avoids making decisions at all costs. We are all in there.
I think people fail to understand – OR – perhaps – are unaware, making sound decisions is a skill set that needs to be developed like any other skill. Something I feel schools and colleges are missing. As a person who works with CEO’s one way or another on a daily basis. I can tell you, all leaders are not created equal when it comes to competency of their decisioning skills.
Nothing will test your leadership mettle more than your ability to make decisions. Why do some leaders fail? They make poor choices that lead to bad decisions.
I often look back on poor decisions I have made over the years. I find it difficult and sometimes painful. I have been trying hard to highlight the importance of focusing more on the training of Decision Making!
Leaders need to understand the outcome of their choices, are decisions that will make or break them. The fact of the matter is Senior Management who rise to the C – Suite do so based upon their ability to consistently make sound decisions.
What drives me crazy is they fail to realise it may take ten years of solid Decision – Making to reach to the board room and only one bad decision to fall from the Ivory Tower. As much as you may wish it wasn’t so when it comes to being a leader, you are really only as good as your last decision.
A skill teenagers will need to learn to do well, because the decisions they are making in this life - stage can be life alternating whether it’s to get a job, start smoking, use drugs, go to college, dating or having sex are decisions that teenagers are making every day.
Mix in the decision of whether or not to study for an upcoming test, which leads to college, the choices they make, you will begin to see the scope of why your teenager needs to learn to make their own decisions.
Good decision - making skills help teenagers achieve with less stress, the consequences of poor decision – making skills cause a lot of stress.
You - The Parent
Are you ready to help them take over the decision that you have been making for them? Take some time to think it through. While it won’t be all at once, there will be a time when it hits you, that you aren’t always needed for decisions ‘or’ that you did not agree with the decision your teenager made, yet it turned out fine without you. This of course can cause melancholy feelings - proud feelings too.
Next emotion of being a parent - prepare yourself to help your teenager identify a Conflict that needs their attention. Verbally spell out the Conflict and end with a question. What do you think you could do? What are your options?
Help them list a few that they may not think of – BUT, Don’t do the task for them. Encourage them through options the pros and cons that will help them see the big picture of each option. Younger teenagers often have trouble seeing the big picture so they may need more help than a 17 year old.
All teenagers can use their parents as sounding boards. It will never be hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.
Let’s say – I have a friend Jane a corporate lawyer with a stressful job, recently admitted that she wanted to be a Lawyer growing up, but didn’t realise how much time she would be spending away from her family and friends. She spent so many years in school, so much time honing her legal skills at a top – notch firm. Jane felt ‘STUCK’.
Then she realised she could make a change, she remembered why she studied law was to help families in need, so took the necessary steps to switch from corporate law career to family law.
Making Decisions about our careers, families, our lives is not easy. Sometimes we make decisions in the spur of the moment, under times of stress, when the adrenaline is pumping. Most important – once you’ve made a decision ‘OWN IT’. Doing so is key to living with it.
Owning up to your Decisions and Life choices is empowering. Where you are today is based on the choices you made in the past. You will be tomorrow based on decisions you made today. Take Time and Wisdom to make good ones. Avoiding these mistakes and making better decisions every day makes us better people, and as better people we are recognised and offered better opportunities which in the end brings better rewards.
The hardest things to learn in life is which bridge to Cross Over and which bridge to Burn! When one bases their life on principles, 99% of their decisions are already made. Whatever you do, don’t let yesterday use up too much of today!
As 2013 comes to a close may I say a sincere thank you to all my loyal readers
A peaceful and Holy Christmas and Cheers to a New Year and another chance to get it right.
June Molony can be contacted on 087-9352773