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How to make quick decisions in the office

In the business world, making quick decisions can be vital to keep ahead of the competition and move your company forward. But it can be easier said than done.

Whether you’re a CEO, line manager or work on the front line of a business, you’ll have a number of decisions to make every day – from the small to the major ones that could affect everyone in the business.

Being able to make them quickly – and with authority – is a good skill to have in an office.

Here are a few ways to help you to make faster decisions…

Start small
If your CEO comes and ask you about the budget, we’re not expecting you to make a snap decision. You’ve got to start small. And we mean really small. If you struggle with decision making in general, start making quick decision on little things in life like what you’re going to wear for work or what you’ll have for lunch.

Then start adding in some work-related issues – like who should head up a project or which event to attend. Slowly, you’ll start to develop and be more confident in your decision making abilities.

Know what you want
You might not know the exact answer to the question at hand but if you have overarching goals for the company you can frame any questions in this context.

Even if the question seems unrelated, consider which answer would help you reach your final goal – this could help you come up with a faster answer.

Often, a decision could have a number of possible outcomes or goals – but which ones will have the biggest impact?

Be prepared
Not only do you need a good overall understanding of what you want your business goals to be, it’s worth being fully briefed and up to date on specific projects or big decisions.

If you’re going into a meeting where you’re expected to make a decision, know the topic you’ll be discussing inside and out so you can feel more comfortable making quick judgements.

Quick consultations
You’re not alone in your decision making. Every answer you give could affect everyone in the business, so it is worth getting another opinion.

But instead of asking half a dozen lawyers, experts and colleagues about it, develop a relationship with one person who you feel has opposing views to you. Then you can run any big decision quickly past them for their advice.

This has two benefits – not only are you getting an alternative point of view, but in the very asking of the question you’ll be rehearsing the possible outcomes in your head.

Record results
Don’t just assume because you’re making quick decision you’re now making the right ones. You’ve got to fine tune your skills as you go.

Get feedback from people to see how successful your quick decisions were and see what you can learn.

It could be that the decision you make for certain areas of the company are working better than in others. Find out why this is.

Know there is no right answer
In the end, the business world isn’t black of white. What might seem like a good decision in the short term could turn out to be the wrong one over a longer period.

It’s worth knowing that there is, really, no right answer. One way of looking at it is that decision making isn’t about finding the perfect solution, but simply a way to move on to the next decision with the minimum upset.