Making judgments under pressure is hard. Without the right resources, it can feel isolating and overwhelming.
It’s all about the people
Remembering this one mantra during crunch times will serve you: ‘I'm not alone'
It can feel that way, and if you are at the pointy end of the hierarchy, you have every reason to think you are alone. After all, we are familiar with the saying ‘it’s lonely at the top’. But is it really? If every single person were to look up or sideways, would there really be no one surrounding you? There is always someone.
So when it comes to making judgments under pressure, say ‘I’m not alone'. And follow it with ‘who do I need to help me with this judgment?’. Then instead of a race against the clock to judgment day, the race is to the phone to get access to the person/the people that will help inform your decision.
It’s all about the process
When it comes to judgments during crunch times, it’s not enough to simple have a conversation or two. Judgments need to be supported with some ‘oomph’: references, data and concrete evidence.
Teams need a robust process that can compliment the power of the people you engage when forming your judgments and making decisions.
9 steps to forming judgments during crunch times:
1. Identify and clearly articulate the issue requiring judgment
2. List the following:
> Different options
> Known source documents and reference materials needed
> People you need to (1) help form your basis of judgment and (2) help you perform the work
3. Prioritise the options and sequence your work. Get cracking and do the work.
4. Establish your most likely options
5. Remove derailers (wild card issues or people that will get in the way of approval). Document
that now (this will reduce risk and save you time later).
6. Narrow to 2-3 options and reach consensus view
7. Reach your position. Make sure this is well documented.
8. Submit for final approval
9. Judgment made and decision approved
People and process: without both, they’re nothing. It’s the other ‘chicken and egg’. An investment in both is the key to making solid judgments during crunch times so you can get it right first time.
About Alena: Alena works with leaders and their teams to connect technical and leadership skills so they can deliver to deadline without killing their people. She is a mentor, trainer, facilitator and coach. Contact her today on firstname.lastname@example.org