3 Tips for Empathetic Decision Making

When you’re leading companies or teams, it’s important to make wise, empathetic decisions. Considerate decision making is empathetic decision making, keeping all of your stakeholders, from clients to employees, in mind.

Before moving forward, especially with big decisions, leaders should have an understanding of how that decision will affect everyone involved. This makes it easy to predict any potential push-back and preemptively deal with problems and complaints resulting from change.

How to keep your decision making considerate

1. Ask

The easiest way to figure out how your decisions will be accepted by your stakeholders is to simply ask them. You can do this using surveys or a quick email asking for feedback. A quick and easy template on asking for feedback is below;

Hey, I just wanted to let you know we are considering implementing a change in the company. [Insert proposed change]. The reason this will be a good idea is because [insert rationale], but I wanted to get your feedback on the matter.

The issue with this method is that depending on your range of influence, it will take time. Not only will you have to read survey results and respond to your email feedback, you’ll have to analyze and read between the lines.

2. Plan

Plan and predict the outcome of your decisions for each stakeholder. Create a list of pros and cons from their point of view before moving forward with the decision. Even if you don’t have time to ask each individual employee how a change in schedules will affect them, you should be able to deduce how they will feel from this list.

Once you have a list of pros and cons, take the cons and brainstorm how you can turn them into opportunities. For example, if you’re switching from an evening to a daytime schedule for your entire company, some of your employees with toddlers may have problems with their childcare schedule with their partners. You could offer a daycare service at the office, or allow some employees to opt for flexible time.

3. Learn

Learn from your past experiences. Looking at how your decisions have shaped the company in the past can provide valuable insight into your future decision making. Pay particular attention to the results of your previous decisions, and how they affected your stakeholders. Here are a few questions you can ask.

  • Have you ever faced a similar decision before? Think about what happened last time, and how your stakeholders reacted. Did you meet with resistance? What can you do this time to make the transition smoother and help your decisions get accepted more quickly?
  • Did you make a similar decision previously that ended up being a poor choice? Why and how should you adjust?
  • Was there a similar decision that was widely accepted? Why? How can you recreate that acceptance?

What are your tips for decision making?

Anything we missed? Share them with us in the comments below.

About the Author: Jocelyn Pick