3 March 2015

As an entrepreneur or business owner, decision-making is invariably a key part of everyday life. Whilst I’d always advise empowering your team to make choices using their own judgement, there will always be decisions that will fall to you, as they do with me and my wife (and business partner) Gail.

handshakeAs UKFast has grown, and I’ve gone from director to MD to CEO, these decisions have grown bigger and bigger. It’s easy to get bogged down with ensuring you make the right choice in these situations.

One of the things Tony Robbins writes about is how the actions you take are powerfully shaped by the emotional state you’re in. When you create stress around a decision you have to make, it can overcomplicate things.

So what’s the answer? I believe it all comes down to what you focus on. Ask yourself, is the decision you’re facing a problem or an opportunity? Focussing on it as an opportunity is likely to see you make a better choice than if you were to simply hone in on the potential problems it might cause.

Controlling your emotions like this is a huge part of being a businessman. There are many techniques to learn from but ultimately they all come down to recognising the patterns of your emotional behaviour. How do you react to people who make you feel frustrated or angry, compared to those who make you feel happy and fulfilled?

Take a moment. Pause. Consider your reaction before you make it. Why do you feel that way and what effect is that having on the business decision you’re making? Often it can be as simple as smiling. There are a wealth of scientific studies that show that smiling, or even faking a smile, lowers your stress levels and actually makes you feel happier.

I have learnt throughout the years to watch the shadow that you cast. Does a room brighten when you enter it or do people shy away? Try smiling next time you are in a stressful situation and see the effect that that has.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how you behave and how that affects the people around you and the decisions you make.

Let me know how you get on.

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