Getting Better at Decision Making

Oct 15, 2022

Sharon: Good morning, everyone. This is Sharon Heller, and I’m here today with Steven Kohnke from Denver Business Coach. Hi, Steven.

Steven: Hi Sharon, how are you doing today?

Sharon: I’m good. What’s our topic of the day?

Steven: So as you know, as we’ve been talking about at Denver Business Coach, we did some qualitative research. We asked business owners in the area where they’re showing up in their business, where they’re weak, where they’re strong. And through those questions, we’ve kind of developed these conversations that we’ve been having, to help people overcome some of these issues.

Steven: And the challenge and the conversation we have today is around decision making. So the question was to evaluate the decision-making power that someone has. Is it quick? Is it decisive? Does it help your business become more successful? And the average response for that was about a 3.87, I believe. And so we’ll have that conversation today around making better decisions.

Sharon: Great topic. I love it. So some business owners feel like making decisions is not a strength for them, and they really struggle with big decisions, and with the little decisions that have to be made all day long. Is that a skill that somebody can actually develop or are you either just good at it or not?

Steven: It’s definitely something that you can develop. I’ve come across many people who are like, “I just don’t want to make decisions” or “I don’t know how to make good decisions”, or “it seems all the decisions I make are wrong.” And if that happens, if that viewpoint happens, which probably isn’t true, you start to really learn not to make decisions, and to really evaluate, over-evaluate, to make a decision and therefore keeping you from making a decision.

Steven: So coming up with good strategies, coming up with what you should be thinking about and how you should approach making a decision, no matter how big or how small, and understanding if you do need other people’s input or if you don’t. I know a couple of people that would just ask, and ask, and ask, and ask so many different people and they won’t make a decision.

Steven: So it’s really understanding where are the thresholds of making a proper decision and understanding what the strategy is behind it. So it can definitely be a learned skill. People can definitely get better at making decisions quickly and better.

Sharon: Good to hear. And why would you say it’s so important for business owners to be able to make decisions fairly quickly? And what are the downsides and the consequences of being indecisive?

Steven: The importance of making quick decisions in a business and the younger the business, even more important it is to make quick and fast decisions, is one you learn when you’re making decisions. When the wrong decisions, you learn something, the right decisions, you learn something, and you can make better, better, better decisions as you continue on that journey.

Steven: So by sitting there, and looking at a spreadsheet for a month before understanding what blog post is going to be more effective to post on social media, is not a good use of time. It’s just, do it, and it’s over, and you can look at what happens after that.

Steven: Making quick decisive decisions, helps progress a business along at a better clip, than sitting there and getting the analysis paralysis through it. Just kind of looking at things too much and not making any decisions. And your cash flow is affected by that. It’s better to fail forward and to really learn from those and make good decisions. Well, the good can come after making a bunch of bad decisions.

Sharon: Right. Right, right. So I love that you said that. And I want to ask a little bit more about getting more comfortable, I guess, with making wrong decisions. For most people I talked to, that’s what’s causing that paralysis, is the fear of what if I make a wrong decision?

Sharon: So how would you speak to somebody who is sitting in that frozen and wasting time and their indecisiveness, but at the same time are afraid of the risk of making a mistake?

Steven: Yeah, I’m glad you brought “risk” because that’s a huge factor. People who have a very low tolerance for risk are the ones that usually struggle to make quick, fast decisiveness, for that fear of failure and stumbling and not having the outcome that they’re expecting to have.

Steven: So when you’re thinking about coming up with a project or trying to make some sort of directional decision for your business, it’s better to have that strategy of reviewing and saying, “Hey, at three weeks we’re going to look at this, this, this. In five weeks and look at this, this, this”. And so on and so forth.

Steven: And really having the strategy behind a decision is going to be incredibly helpful for someone to overcome that fear. And also, I used to be a perfectionist myself. I definitely was one of those people who needed to gather as much information as I could. And I never had enough information to make a decision. So there was definitely one of those factors I had to overcome myself.

Steven: And one of those big pieces there is, actually a word of advice I was told is “Don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good”, just do something that’s good enough and I’ll kind of give a number to that, when you’re 75%, 80% way there in your head, you think that you’re that far to be able to have that information and to make that decision, you’re probably good enough.

Steven: It is time to pull the trigger and to go ahead with that plan on the backside. It gives people more confidence to say, OK, just because I do this, it’s not going to just be out there in the ether. There is a plan and strategy and a roadmap in order to adjust and change that decision on a smaller scale as you go.

Sharon: Well, really good point, Steven. Anything else you want to add before we wrap up our discussion this morning?

Steven: Yeah, making decisions can be affected by so many different factors. We talked a little bit about just perfectionism, in fact, but there’s a bunch of different areas there. So anyone really has trouble making decisions, struggle with making quick decisions. Give us a call or visit our website And we’d be happy to help make some better decisions with you.

Sharon: Great. Thank you, Steven. It was great talking to you today. And we will talk again soon.