Tuesday, July 02, 2019

What ‘Decision Criteria’ Looks Like in Action

I’m going to share some of my decision criteria when faced with choices.

Remember the 4 questions from last week:

  • What area of your life are you focusing on right now?
  • What are your goals – long and short-term?
  • Which relationships are important to you?
  • What values do you wish to demonstrate?

Here are my current answers to these questions:

  • What area of your life are you focusing on right now?
    • I am currently focusing on career and my business.
    • If something comes up in regards to my health (mental or physical) or my family, I will change my focus.
  • What are your goals – long and short-term?
    • My short-term goal is to embed with a team. I enjoy working solo, but I learn when I work in a collective. The evaluation process has two questions:
      • Will I enjoy spending time with these people?
      • Do I align with what they are trying to accomplish?
      • What do I think I will learn from this engagement?
    • My long-term goal is to develop expertise in change management – both personal and organizational
      • I have some already from my years as an educator and project manager, but I feel that the paradigm is shifting and some of the old-school theories provide only partial answers
      • I have theories from my time away from the collective and research. It’s time to put the theories into practice.
    • The decision-making process will bias the long-term. I am working to establish a solid foundation for this next phase of my working life.
    • The big vision is to establish something that can follow me anywhere, provide value no matter what my age, health, and energy levels, and is independent of the vicissitudes of the economy and the workplace.
  • Which relationships are important to you?
    • Family and partner first. Who do I want to show up at my funeral and say nice things about me?
    • A big question with each opportunity – How will this help me practice developing positive, healthy relationships? It’s a test in how strong I can make bonds.
    • Another question – What am I attracting? What am I seeing in these people? We spend most of our waking hours in the workplace. Life is too short to spend your days with assholes.
  • What values do you wish to demonstrate?
    • Am I learning something through this engagement? Is it something I actually WANT to learn? (Learning)
    • What work am I supporting? Do I agree with their vision of the future? (Integrity)
    • Can I bring my whole self into this engagement? (Integrity)
    • Am I clear on how this choice will impact my relationship with those who are most important to me? (Family)

There are a few other questions I am also asking as I size up my choices:

  • What is the opportunity cost if I take this opportunity?
    • What gets deprioritized?
    • What will I NOT be able to say “Yes” to?
  • What are the “success criteria” for this opportunity?
    • What do I want to get out of this experience?
    • What are their expectations of me? Are they realistic?
      • I am retiring from playing the “rescuer.” This goes for both individuals and organizations.
  • Am I clear on “scope of work?” Is this something that plays to my strengths?
    • I’m a researcher and educator at heart. Seeing what is lying around and using that to prototype solutions to a problem is my happy place.
    • Clients inform me I am great at seeing patterns and identifying actionable steps.
    • I need help with sales, marketing, and extrovert skills and I am best when surrounded by people with these talents.
  • Am I clear on my “outs?”
    • I’m nearing 50. Life is too short to continually bang my head against the wall.
    • There are environments where it’s not worth wasting my (or their) time in trying to engage. I’m (slowly) learning how to identify these environments early – ideally before I say “yes.” It’s a work-in-progress.

These questions sound very career-driven and group-focused, but they also apply to other areas.

I’ve used variations on these questions for workout programs, nutrition initiatives, hobbies, and other personal endeavors.

  • Do I like the environment I am in as I engage in this activity?
  • Do I like the people in this culture and the guidance I am receiving?
  • Am I getting the results I am expecting from this experience? Both short and long-term?
  • Is the time I am spending on this activity enjoyable?
  • Am I clear on when I should stop because it isn’t working for me?

Your questions, values, period-of-life, and circumstances are likely different.

It may be worthwhile to sit down and determine what are the important questions you have to ask yourself when you make a decision.

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