How to make decisions in times of crisis
For a company to achieve good results , some factors are necessary. In addition to productivity, leaders need to be prepared to face unfavorable situations .
Crises, internal or external, always cause some wear or damage. Therefore, knowing how to solve problems that arise is a skill that must be developed in organizations.
An instability should bring some learning or show new directions. Therefore, companies need to know how to observe the scenario in order to make the appropriate decisions in crisis situations. Only then will it be possible to carry out efficient actions for the benefit of the organization itself.
Importance of making well-informed decisions
Deciding isn’t the hardest part in a time of crisis. But a decision with good foundations requires technique, calmness and a broad view of the problem.
Still, acting lucidly isn’t easy. In fact, we are experiencing this difficulty right now. The world is facing a pandemic that affects everyone’s lives in many ways. And the business context is not out of it.
Some moments require efficient decisions and clear vision to face challenges . Thus, organizations can count on strategies to get out of the crisis. It is enough to make well-founded decisions capable of bringing positive results.
10 tips for making decisions in times of crisis
Inside and outside companies, moments of crisis cause stress and increase the levels of cortisol in the body. With that, the reasoning ability decreases, making decision making difficult .
1. Try to identify the problem
It’s much easier to find a solution when you know the problem, isn’t it? Then identify the hurdle to be faced and what the impact will be on the organization. In times of crisis, first understand the issue, then worry about solving the causes.
2. Sort the options available for the decision
Problems need individual analysis as there will rarely be a single solution for all of them . Furthermore, the shortest path is not always the best, quite the opposite. Thoughtless resolutions stress teams and can bring costs down the road.
However, when it comes to customer satisfaction, the quickest and most immediate choice is often the right choice.
3. Listen to the people involved
Listening to the team responsible for crisis management and the employees responsible for solving the problem is essential. But don’t forget to also dialogue with the professionals who will feel the impact of the result. Having a broad view of the problem helps a lot in decisions in times of crisis.
4. Promote a checklist to follow the process
In complex or very extensive issues, creating a checklist with the steps of what needs to be done and what resources are needed for this can help. Thus, it is easier to visualize the issue, the solution and everything that involves its realization.
5. Use technology to your advantage
The technology is an ally of organizations in decision making. Therefore, having good tools and keeping systems up to date is essential, especially those responsible for collecting day-to-day information.
In addition, updating the programs and systems used in the company is essential to avoid losses with the momentary loss of data or completed work . Companies that work with production, for example, must have all information available and properly computed.
Taking these precautions, managers are able to minimize risks. After all, accuracy and agility are important components to prevent problems from lingering.
6. Minimize losses
Remember that in the business world there is no perfect choice that can only bring benefits. Crises are part of the process and managers must accept them and learn from them, seeking solutions that minimize losses .
7. Gather correct data
After the first step, knowing where you want to go, it’s time to start on the right path to achieve results . One possible strategy is as follows:
- identify relevant stakeholders;
- have an idea about the roles of each one;
- gather relevant data on direct competitors, obstacles, and other decision-related issues;
- promote a SWOT analysis , considering strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, performing a stress test. Here, include the analysis of alternative assumptions, costs and scenarios.
Once you’ve gathered this data, share it with relevant individuals across your organization to gain insights that validate your decision.
8. Listen to different points of view
It is essential to involve others when collecting data and information to get out of the crisis. Listening to different points of view promotes diversity of thinking, which can help overcome obstacles.
In this sense, it is important to have emotional intelligence to know the other’s vision and accept contributions without squeamishness, especially from people who play different roles in the organization.
In extreme situations, when everyone around us is stressed or mentally drained, it’s common to focus on solutions that worked at another time. But each case is different and we must analyze each crisis in its context.
Therefore, listening to new opinions or brainstorming with the people involved can bring innovative and efficient solutions. Therefore, leaders must encourage the contribution of employees, even in times of crisis.
9. Know how to balance emotion and empathy
In extreme situations, keeping emotions under control is essential to not lose everything. What we popularly call “cold blood”, you know? This is the path to correct and human language. The objective decision-making in times of crisis.
But having self-control and coolness should never dispel empathy, which must accompany decisions. Therefore, try to analyze the impact on the lives of the people involved and on the business as a whole.
10. Be guided by your values
Knowing and understanding what the main values of the company are and what they mean helps a lot when making decisions. This is because the solution found to “put out the fire” must be in line with the organization’s principles .
In addition to being consistent, decisions must not conflict with the organizational culture , nor negatively surprise your audiences. Nor will it affect the result that will take the company out of the crisis.
In times of tension and stress, it is common to get carried away by a sense of urgency, without really evaluating whether what we are proposing is correct and feasible. In these cases, it is common for managers to make decisions based on uncertainty. Thus, maintaining balance, pondering and analyzing the scenario are important attitudes.
Keep in mind that in times of crisis or periods of change, circumstances often change very quickly. Therefore, make the necessary decisions without breaking the assumed values.