Anytime that you’re put into a leadership position, there are going to be moments when you’re going to have to make some pretty hard calls; when decisions that are ultimately the best will not always be the easiest. The good news is that if you maintain a positive attitude and apply the proper tools, while the process may be tough, it can still prove to be highly beneficial.

Here are five recommendations on how to handle making challenging decisions:

Don’t be hard on yourself. When you’re the person in charge, this also means that a lot of the weight and responsibility falls on you. That can be a lot of pressure. While you definitely need to make a concerted effort to make wise and responsible decisions, do not expect yourself to be perfect. Making tough decisions usually entails not making everyone happy. It’s a way of life, so put yourself in the head space to simply accept it.

Think things through (thoroughly). Let’s say that your current numbers are indicating that you might have to lay off a staff member or close a certain division of your company. The truth of the matter is that nothing good ever comes from making snap decisions from an emotional space. It’s always smart to take a couple of days to exhale, review the facts (more than your feelings) and then assess what would be best.

Consider alternatives. Sometimes what appears to be the most obvious solution is not always the best one. For instance, if you’re losing money, you might immediately think to shut the business down, when you might simply need to transition it to being online. Or, if you have a full-time staff, you might want to offer them the choice of being contracted before letting them go. If you have the will to make things work out, you’ll be surprised by how many ways will present themselves.

Get another opinion. It’s basically the human condition to think that we have all of the right answers, but wise counsel can spare you a lot of unnecessary drama and regret. Whether it’s your spouse, a close friend, a colleague or even your accountant or attorney, so long as they are trustworthy and reliable, do not hesitate to speak to someone else about what you are currently going through. When you’re seeing things only from the “inside out”, you can miss a whole different perspective that comes from looking at matters from the “outside in”.

Don’t waver. A big part of the reason why all of these other tips are so imperative is that you want to be sure that you make a decision that you can feel secure about. That’s because you will only cause more problems by making a choice and then wavering on your decision. It only causes you to further doubt yourself and delay you from moving in a progressive manner. So, once you have “cast your vote” on what needs to be done, make a promise to yourself that you will stick with it. We get to our next seasons in life looking forward, not going back (and forth).

Photo credit: mainstreammom.com

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