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Make higher business choices in difficult conditions

If you are In In business, it is inevitable that challenging situations will arise from time to time and you will be forced to make difficult decisions.

You may have to deal with the consequences of a defective product. Or a delivery can be canceled, creating a customer emergency that you need to resolve. Some experiences will not be under your control, but it doesn't matter. In business, you have to make difficult decisions. The good news, however, is that you can learn to make better decisions that lead to more positive results.

Make decisions that take the consequences into account

Do you think that your actions have no consequences? The only people who believe that are those who do not realize that all actions have consequences. Some consequences are expected, others are not.

I saw management make decisions for customers when they obviously didn't think through the consequences of their actions. A management team believed it could improve its customers' businesses by developing a new incentive program each year. They didn't know that their ever-changing programs influenced buying decisions.

Every time a new program was introduced, the company noticed a delay in shopping both at the end of the year and at the beginning of the year. Why? Because customers knew that another program would be launched soon at the end of the year and they might get a better deal if they wait to buy after January 1st.

Eventually, management stopped reinventing the incentive program when it lost revenue for two months each year. Customers were happier and the company only saw consistent sales again when it fully considered the ramifications of its business decisions.

Walking alone is not a wise strategy

I once worked for an incompetent manager. He threatened customers, chose high performers for the wrong jobs, and created obstacles to the success of others. In a perfect world, this person would never have been able to manage others – but the real world is not a perfect one. I could have gone to the human resources department to complain. But I wondered what voice would be against his. Even more difficult was the fact that he had more seniority than me.

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One day, you may need to address incompetence at your place of business, as challenging as it may be. A group is often better than a lonely voice when it comes to tackling necessary changes. Finally, a group voice addressed my troubling situation. My peer group participated in this manager's 360 degree feedback rating. The group leader said, "This is the worst manager performance I've seen in my 20 years of group leader." The incompetent manager was downgraded shortly afterwards.

Remember that people are watching

Smartphones are everywhere and people are looking for the next viral video to publish. You can't expect someone to use their phone to video you at work, but it does. Your colleagues, managers, employees and customers observe how you deal with stress and difficult situations.

What do you do if a customer contacts you with an angry complaint? Are you flying off the handle and pushing back without listening first? Emotional situations will arise in business and you need to have a controlled temper to be able to handle them well.

Are you running to management to get someone to solve your problems? If you are unable to handle it yourself, this may be a sign to your manager that you may not be needed.

There is often no warning that a tsunami is coming from business problems. Successful business and sales employees pay attention to both verbal and non-verbal communication information. They listen to both the tone of a person's voice and their body language. They quickly sense when problems come and have the confidence that they can handle a difficult situation calmly.

Can you listen to customers and colleagues closely and really hear what someone is saying? Your interpersonal skills can play a big role in de-escalating situations that may brew together.

There will always be challenges in business. Learning how to make better business decisions is an important professional skill that can help you in your career, no matter what stage you are in.

CONNECTION: Make better business decisions by following this 7-step process

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