I recently spoke at the Executive Assistants Network annual Congress and my topic was Decision Making and Innovation: How to use creativity to solve work problems. Here are some of the tools you can use for some of the first steps you need to take.
1. Who actually needs to make the decision?
2. Have you considered all seven of the main methods of decision making? It may not rest on your shoulders alone - who else should be involved?
3. Remember - Garbage In, Garbage Out. Get all the facts, feelings and data.
Writing Effective Emails
First ask yourself is writing an email the best option to get the result you want?
Many relationships are ruined by assuming an email is better than actually talking to the person. Emails are convenient but does it always get you the result you want? It might be quick and practical for you to write, however, it might not be as effective as a call or face-to-face meeting to get the reaction or response that you want.
Another issue to consider is the sheer volume of emails people receive each day. It is easy for an email to lose impact as it is competing against so many others. Think about it from your perspective. Would you be happier to see eight emails that need reading, or 80? If we can reduce the amount of emails we send each day, the ones that we do send will have more impact. Consider it email etiquette.
The biggest tip I can give you is to consider the reader.
I really mean that. Think about who is going to read your email. What do you know about them?
Ask yourself this. What is it that will make the reader want to read my email? What would make you interested enough to read it? What would be a good subject line that grabs the attention of you intended audience?
How can I make my email attractive to the reader? What do you like / dislike in emails. Think about length, layout, font and spacing.
What does the reader really value and what is important to them? If you don't know; find out. Where can you find out what your reader values?
If you consider these two things: Firstly you ask yourself if an email is the best method to achieve the result you want and then you think about what the reader wants, I guarantee you will instantly improve the effectiveness of your writing.
Always keep your goals in focus.
Brian Tracy in his seminal book Goals! said "You become what you think about most of the time".
More and more research into the power of the mind and neuroscience is showing us quite clearly that we have far more power than we know what to do with. Brian points out that successful people think about what they want and how to get it most of the time.
Have an intentional focus on what you want to achieve. Keep your goals in sight. Have reminders around you. Be creative, try pictures as well as written goals and carry them with you on your mobile device. What is it you want, paint a very clear picture of what you want and what you don't want and keep it in your focus. The steps of how to get there will come.