Last week, my team and I found ourselves in an uncontrollable situation. We had very little influence over every challenge that was thrown our way, and we certainly didn’t have control. I won’t bore you with the details but let’s just say it involved travel, Covid tests and threatening border closures. I made decisions that best served my team and my customer. I had no previous history of the situation and very little data to support my thinking; therefore, I decided to lean on common sense, empathy and good judgement.

But how confident are we in making decisions based on good judgement? These days, using good judgement is a critical skill. It demonstrates that we have enough knowledge of our product or service to suit the nuances of a situation. When applying good judgement, we are:

  • actively listening
  • asking questions to seek understanding
  • reading non-verbal language
  • using an emotional filter to weigh up values (personal and company).

More than ever, the results of decisions that directly impact our teams and customers are much harder to predict. We don’t have a rule book for current-day circumstances because the circumstances keep changing. Service professionals are facing new challenges that require them to:

  • maintain continuity of customer experience in ‘times of crisis’
  • build certainty in a state of flux.

The confidence for applying common sense or good judgement in times of crisis and a state of flux is tricky. Realistically we are drawing upon feelings, values and the human aspect of a situation along with logic and facts.

Looking back on an event and learning from the results of a decision are key steps to developing greater confidence in common sense and learning to trust the decisions we make.

Annie Duke, author of Thinking in Bets, likens decision-making to a game of poker. ‘If we want to improve any game – and any aspect of our lives – we have to learn from the results of our decisions.’

The results of the decisions I made last week were excellent. My team and my customer were happy with the end result. By looking back and taking in the results of my decision-making, I feel more confident in my judgement of a similar situation in the future.

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