Are You Comfortable With Risk?

I was speaking today with a very bright guy. He’s in the security field, so his entire business is about helping people mitigate risks. This is fascinating stuff.

It occurred to me, though, that I run into a lot of other people who struggle with making decisions in the face of the unknown. How a person resolves that depends a bit on his personality type: Analytics will want to continue to gather more data until, they hope, the decision becomes clear. Amiables will look for whatever decision causes the least anxiety, looking for consensus. And so on.

But the fact is that it’s the job of a business owner to make decisions, even when there’s lots of unknowns. Some are comfortable with it, but the rest of us – well, it’s an area of learning and growth.

Here’s some ideas about how to get more comfortable facing risky decisions:

1. Realize what your natural tendencies are. If you rely too much on emotions, balance that out with some reasoned thinking. If you focus too much on data, then spend more time looking at the other impacts of delay.

2. Look at recent decisions you’ve made, then ask yourself honestly: “What if I had made that decision in half the time?” People often find that reducing the time actually wouldn’t have changed the decision itself, yet would give you lots more time AFTER the decision to move forward.
3. Surround yourself with trusted advisors who have more objectivity and different tendencies. I often play this role with my clients, because I don’t have to get wrapped up in the emotional turmoil.

4. Admit to yourself that mistakes are just part of the human condition, even when you’re being most careful. If moving quickly is important to your business, then you’ll take some wrong paths, then have to learn and adjust. Explain to your employees that it’s the reality, and don’t be afraid to ask for forgiveness.What decision are you afraid of today? Tweet it to me – @carldier

Carl Dierschow

Small Fish Business Coaching Fort Collins


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