Accessability Links

Difficult decision making and ‘putting yourself out there’

Posted by
30 Jun 2016
Hindsight - what a thing! It seems to me that all of us (myself included) are always more the wiser after a challenging decision has been made, or a difficult verdict has been called, thinking ‘we could have done that’ or ‘we should have decided on this approach’. At some point we all make decisions in the midst of uncertainty and without having all the facts, an ability which stops us living in a world of indecision and inaction!

Recently, at Cincinnati Zoo, a very quick decision had to be made regarding the shooting of a gorilla when a young child fell into the enclosure. What followed was intense criticism towards the zoo staff for making the decision to terminate the animal, as well as condemnation of the child’s parents. I know this debate has died down now but there is a wider point I want to acknowledge, which is that fewer people are willing to put their necks on the line and make or support the big decisions - however there are plenty of takers when it comes to the criticism! It was all very sad - but does anyone think that the zoo staff wanted to kill the animal?

While in the past leaders have been more willing to put their ‘necks on the line’ and make decisions in the public eye, it seems there is a reluctance these days to make the big calls to prevent opening themselves up to a torrent of finger pointing and vitriol from the general public. On one level (and I won’t try and go on too much about sport), when England inevitably get knocked out of the Euros no doubt we will all criticise Roy and his selection or formation and start sentences with ‘I told you he should have".
Hindsight should be used as a time of reflection and being constructive, as opposed to only negative feedback stating the obvious, which itself isn’t always correct! People generally don’t want to make poor decisions or take decisions lightly, and you can’t please all people all of the time, but we need to respect decisions on the whole and think deeper as to why these were taken.

On another level, I find it amazing that there are relatively few personalities that entered the Brexit debate and given us their honest opinion. No one knows what will happen of course, but it seems very few of our respected politicians have entered the debate with any real gusto.

Ok, back to sport, apologies again… on a lesser scale the cricket captains in our Annual Charity Cricket League really demonstrate their ability to ‘put themselves out there’ by selecting the teams and making switches as they see it. I bet that if there were people who are quick to criticise (and you’d hope not!) then these will be the people who have not captained a side previously or organised a group.  

As part of our talent policy, we refer to ‘emotional intelligence’ as part of the behavioural characteristics our employees should demonstrate, and encourage people to stop, listen and think about responses and opinions which we are challenged with daily in this line of work. Before you fall into the easy trap, use the benefit of hindsight, put yourself in their shoes and think positively!    
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