One Trait Successful Retailers Share:

There are a number of vital leadership traits that bridal storeowners must demonstrate in order to be effective. But without a doubt, you’ve got to be excellent at making decisions. Whether it’s picking between designer lines, contemplating whether to hire a new employee, debating how to best support a needy customer, or any other number of choices, your job is riddled with decisions. Without a doubt, to be productive, you’ve got to be good at this aspect of your leadership.
    However, you also want to be skilled in decision-making because it’s a proven way to earn the respect of your team. When your employees see that you can make choices with confidence and skill, they will have faith in your abilities and, over time, be more likely to trust you. Why does that matter? Because leaders who are trusted are more effective at motivating people to perform. And when employees feel more inspired to perform, they’re more likely to meet goals and deliver results, too.
    We’ve all felt dragged down by decision-making at times. But if this is an area of your leadership you feel you can improve, consider the following tips:

Track the habit. When your reluctance to make decisions is impacting your productivity, it can help to increase your awareness around what types of decisions trigger procrastination. For instance, start tracking or journaling when decision-making is taxing your time, emotions, energy or other resources. Notice when you are more prone to postpone a decision. What kinds of choices make you feel anxious, cause you to make excuses, or compel you to overanalyze? And what’s at the heart of those kinds of decisions – for example, fear of failure, a scarcity mindset, or a desire to just keep things comfortable? Building this awareness is an important first step. As you learn more about why you’re struggling here and the habits you’ve possibly created around decision-making, you can better develop solutions to address it.

Set time limits. Some decisions are complex and will require more effort on your part. But when you’re struggling with making decisions around what’s more mundane in nature, try assigning deadlines. Commit to when you’ll have these decisions made, put that date on the calendar, and limit how long you’ll allow yourself to think about it. For instance, if you’re prone to spend hours surfing the Internet for market travel tickets, you might block one single hour on January 12 at 10 a.m. to price shop, purchase the tickets, and then call it good.

Look to your business plan for guidance. With more complex or meaningful decisions, there can be a number of important factors to consider. So if you’re struggling with this leadership responsibility, pull out your business plan and review your company values, vision and mission. Then use these as navigation points to help guide your decision-making. When you align your decisions with what you truly believe, want for your business, and have established as the ultimate goal, your choices will usually be the right ones.

Ask for advice. When people wrestle with making up their minds, it’s sometimes because they lack some knowledge or experience that they perceive is necessary to make a good choice. But often, it’s possible to simply learn something of value from others and use that as the basis for the decision. For the record, we’re not saying you should make a bunch of critical business choices based solely on what others have experienced. But ask people in your network to share their knowledge and experiences with you. Getting insights from those you trust can be all you need to move forward with making a decision or confirming a choice you were heavily considering.

Focus on what’s vital. Some decisions are obviously more important than others. As a leader, it’s your job to focus on what’s vital in your business – or the 20 percent of decisions that will net 80 percent of your company’s success. That said, don’t ignore the more trivial choices but rather look for opportunities to delegate such decisions to others. Empower your employees to take on more responsibilities in the area of decision-making as it relates to their skills and talents. Consider training them to develop their skills if necessary so they can grow professionally. As they come to feel more confident in their abilities, they will help you and your business, as well as their career succeed.

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