One of the critical roles you’re hired to perform in business—no matter your position—is to make levelheaded judgment calls. Some generate small ripples while others have large-scale consequences. There is no question excellent judgment is a highly-sought-after competency. In fact, your decision-making capacity often decides whether you are perceived as a high-potential employee—or not.
Those who’s strong suit is judgment, as identified in the VIA Classification, are individuals who naturally seek the wisest solutions by both balancing their experience and knowledge and the valued viewpoints of others. They are at ease collecting, weighing, and evaluating decisions from a multitude of perspectives and alternatives before formulating a solution.
Judgment is pivotal to your success so begin building your abilities early in your career when the ramifications are small. As you receive your next promotion, you’ll be happy you practiced. You’ll find the higher you are on the organizational chart, the more varied, the more magnified the consequences, and the more shades of gray you are required to discern.
To hone your decision-making muscles:
Open-mindedness is fundamental to good judgment, and it isn’t as easy as it sounds. The truth is that human beings tend to cling tenaciously to their beliefs. The more deeply embedded your views the more resistant you are to changing your preferred plan and the less willing you are to shifting your perspective. However, to do anything other than that is to address the situation from a rigid mindset which slams the door on innovation and change—both of which are fundamental to a flourishing organization.
Ego takes you off-track. To the extent ego rules, you limit sound decision-making. The reality is an out-of-control ego is as harmful as the timid unwilling-to-decide ego is for sound judgment. Neither of these extremes of the decision spectrum prospers either your career or your organization.
Learn to Reset:
Considering a wildly off-course judgment is irreversible won’t get you anywhere. It is a trap that will hold you stuck. There are plenty of examples in business where an organization’s strategic judgment has gone off-track; then they made midstream corrections or moved past their misstep to build a great future. Do you remember New Coke? Or George Lucas signing over any and all merchandise rights to Star Wars films for $20,000? Or Steve Jobs’ decision to hire John Scully who then turned around to fire Jobs? You have the picture. We know the outcome of these misjudgments. Coke made a successful course correction to be ranked #6 on Fortune’s 2014 Most Admired Company list. George Lucas went on to create many more movies including the Indiana Jones series. Steve Jobs successfully reunited with Apple to be responsible for products that only changed the face of the world. Not bad at resetting is it!?
No one is expecting you to make the perfect decisions just ones that reveal a thoughtful, impartial exploration of the options at hand. After all, isn’t that what excellent judgment is all about?