Archive | June, 2012

Using a 3-point Approach to Decision-Making

13 Jun

Whenever I talk to students, colleagues, friends or family  I often suggest using the three-point approach to decision-making or planning. Whether you are preparing to introduce a new product or service, graduate from college, change careers or make your current career better, you need to have an idea of how you will move toward accomplishing a goal. That means having to make some tough choices and then act on whatever you decide. It can be overwhelming and frightening. To get started using three points for discovery, decisions and planning; here are some categories and questions to consider:

1) Assess your tools and resources. Do I have the tools and resources I need? For a job search, these tools include: an updated, professional resume, an effective social media/online presence and good advisors who are current on recruiting trends and practices in your market and industry. Do I have an active network of family, friends and professional colleagues that I am fully engaging in courageous conversations? Have I shared my goals with my network? Have I practiced articulating my personal brand statement? Hint: There are wise people who want to help you develop these tools and skills. Find them, talk to them, listen to them and follow-through.

2) Set goals. Have you set broad goals in key areas of life? Key areas include, but are not limited to: Spiritual, Family, Relationships, Health and of course, Career. Ask yourself: What are my goals in each of these key areas of life? What’s my timetable? Are my goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achieveable, Realistic and Timely? Create action items, set dates, adjust the plan when necessary and write out the details. Keep track of how you’re doing in a journal or online notebook. Hint: Review your goals regularly and share them with an accountability partner who will challenge and encourage you. Celebrate your milestones.

3) Look inside. What are those internal messages that hinder you? What are you afraid of? What family or financial pressures prevent you from doing what you really want to do? When and how can you change the pressures upon you? Do you have a realistic view of your job market and your profession/industry? How hard are you pursuing your passions? Do you believe you can make a living by doing your passion? Do you exercise regularly to release stress and stay strong? What are you doing to renew your spirit and be encouraged? Hint: Surround yourself with positive, honest people yet do not fear challenge or disagreement. We often learn much in those moments of difficulty.

See how that works? I used three key points with many important questions under each of them to write this post. I’m convinced that in seeking answers to good questions you often discover purpose or awaken a desire to move forward. Every time I meet with a client, student or colleague seeking advice, I tell them to condense decisions, plans and actions into three points. It can work for so many things in life. There is no magic in using this approach. It’s just simple. I am fortunate that I get to help people reach inside, grab some goals, create action steps and take responsibility for moving forward. What do you think about using the three point approach to plans and decisions? Has it worked for you? Why or why not?