Avoid Emotional Decision Making

Too often leaders make their decisions based on emotion, and it causes them to ignore all of the facts that are put in front of them. While it is true that we often have incomplete information when making a decision and that many of the decisions we make in business have no perfect answer, it does not mean we should throw away all the data and evidence that is available to us. In addition, I find entrepreneurs are particularly prone to being impatient and not giving new ideas and processes enough time and effort so that they can properly take hold. Here are two real examples from the last two days.

I have a client that hired us to help them improve their sales force. Historically, they have very mixed results in recruiting people, and it is evidenced by the fact that only 25% of their people perform at an acceptable level. As a result, the owners were very interested in implementing our Sales Talent Acquisition Routine (S.T.A.R), which, when implemented properly, has a 95% success rate for hiring good performers.

Two weeks into implementation of the process, the owners informed me that they had a great candidate they talked to and wanted to hire. To my dismay, they wanted to exclude this person from the S.T.A.R. process. I explained to the owners this would actually violate discrimination laws since we were already interviewing other candidates under the new process. I also shared with them 3rd party validated statistics that indicated that if we confirmed the person hirable there was a 95% chance they would be successful, and if we confirmed them not hirable, there was 75% chance they would fail. An owner who was not in an emotional state would immediately want the candidate to go through the process to have the higher comfort level. These owners were so excited about this candidate that they told me that it did not matter to them whether or not the process validated their conclusion. They (the same team that has 75% percent failure rate in the past) had already made up their minds to hire the person.

Another similar scenario was a company where the owners did not follow a process properly. The outcome of the process was not what they wanted. They rushed through implementation and failed to have the discipline to take the time to get it right. So rather than go back and diagnose what happened, their conclusion was to revert to their original unproductive process. Had the owners taken a closer look at the situation they would have realized that they had not given the new process enough effort and had failed to implement it in the right way. So now they’ve wasted money and time on the new process and will continue to not get the outcome they want because they will fall back to the old process that was not working.

In both companies the main culprit was allowing emotion to take control of decision-making. While we need emotion to help us get motivated to change, we cannot forget about logic. It is imperative when embarking on a new process or program that the management team is committed to the decision and will take the time to make sure that all of the available factors are being considered and that proper time is allowed for the changes to take hold. Many times all that is needed is some fine-tuning to achieve great results, but people stop before they reach the finish line.

Howard Shore is a business growth expert that works with companies and people that want to maximize their growth potential by improving strategy, enhancing their knowledge, and improving motivation. To learn more about him or his firm please contact Howard Shore at 305.722.7213 or shoreh@activategroupinc.com.