Make Better Decisions in the Workplace

Blog-DecisionsDo you ever have to hold yourself back from the momentary freak out at work? Like a situation with an exhibitor, a vendor or a colleague where you felt like blowing your top? Or maybe you’re always feeling guilty about stuff? Like when you’re faced with competing demands on your time, making you decide who to please and who to diss.

Emotions in the workplace can be rough. But here’s the good news: It’s actually valuable — and somewhat rare — to feel passionate or guilty about choices in the workplace. A recent post by Harvard Business Review’s Gretchen Gavett bemoaned Gallup’s research on employee engagement. Among U.S. workers, only 30 percent are actively engaged. This means seven out of 10 people are either “checked out,” or actively hostile toward their employers. Seven out of 10. So when you really care about something, be it an internal or external issue, you’re already a more finely tuned instrument for your organization. But how do you handle it?

It turns out there are strategies to soothe your soul and make better decisions in the workplace. One of the most powerful is 10–10–10.

The basic tenant of Suzy Welch’s book, 10–10 –10 is this: For every seemingly important situation, ask yourself, “Will this matter 10 minutes from now? Will this matter 10 days from now? Will this matter 10 years from now?”

This thinking puts powerful perspective to the everyday small annoyances we all experience. It brings a longer view into daily life. Have a board member who wants you to attend an off-site meeting on the same day as an all-hands-on-deck association planning session? Been asked to user-test the new system at the same time as an important client visit? Been directed for the millionth time to backtrack a piece of paperwork that someone else mishandles?

Weigh the options and see which choice you make will be more relevant in the future. And most importantly — is the decision not worth living and dying by? One thing for sure is it’s not worth freaking out over things that won’t matter 10 minutes from now.

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