Making decisions can be challenging, but but making good ones is critical to living a successful and happy life.
In an effort to continually improve my own decision making, I constantly seek out people smarter than me and unpack their advice on making decisions.
One person who’s obviously made some good decisions is Ben Silbermann, the co-founder and CEO of Pinterest.
What follows are four tips from Ben that will enable us to make better decisions.
[Note: These were originally published by Village Global.]
Make better decisions by remembering these four tips
Ben shared several tips on one of the most important topics in business: decision making.
1.) Consider how this decision will set a precedent
I think a perspective to adopt, without being too inflexible, is, “What if this decision is a precedent? If this decision becomes the new baseline, what would you do in the next situation?” It’s good to think, “If I joined the company tomorrow and heard about this decision and it was stripped of all context, what would it symbolize?”
2.) Think about the consequences of a decision beyond the immediate person obviously affected
For a while I would make decisions and I’d think, “It affects this person so I’m going to communicate it to that person.” Instead I should have been thinking: “Who are the two rings of people around the person? And what is the context that they need to understand that rationale?”
3.) Write down decisions you make — and your rationale at the time — into a “decision journal.”
Next time you hire someone, cut a partnership deal, decide on a key product spec — or make any hard decision — write down your reasoning in a journal. Later, you can see how the decision played out relative to your reasoning at the time you made the decision. You can learn whether you should have trusted your gut at the time or not.
Ben has been doing this for awhile and swears by the technique:
I feel like if you don’t write down a decision you made and why, there’s so many things going on that it’s very hard to remember exactly what you were thinking at the time, because you have this kind of running dialogue that’s being updated along the way. So that’s been really helpful for me.
4.) Act quickly. A timely decision can be a good decision.
There does need to be a time constraint on decisions. It’s something I have to remind my team: sometimes a good decision is a timely decision.