Improving Your Management Skills 10/12: Having Good Judgment

As a manager, you’re responsible for dozens and dozens of decisions every single day, which means that good judgment is absolutely essential for effective leadership. Without it, you’ll likely make mistakes that could cost you your reputation and the wellbeing of your company. But don’t let the pressure of all that paralyze you into indecision. Here are some ways you can improve your judgment so that you can lead your team and your company to success.

Humble yourself

First, recognize that you don’t know everything. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and do some research when you don’t know the answer. And always put the wellbeing of your company ahead of your own ego and success. Remember that you’re part of a team and the team’s goals should come first.

 Listen carefully

The more you listen to your employees, clients, and customers, the more information you’ll have to make decisions with. Sit down with your employees regularly, both individually and as a team, and hear concerns, ideas, problems, and successes. Make them feel valued and respected and like you truly care about them.

Choose your leaders wisely

Put the right people in the right places for leadership. Empower those people to have the right resources, tools, and training and then trust them to do their jobs. If you micromanage your team, they’ll grow frustrated, lose the ability to make decisions, and they won’t last long. You should still be available to them for feedback and troubleshooting, but you shouldn’t oversee every little decision they make.

Acknowledge mistakes

And it’s not enough just to acknowledge your mistakes, you have to fix them, especially those personnel mistakes when you’ve hired the wrong person for a role. It’s hard to undo all that hard work of placing someone right away, especially if you just suspect that the problem is simply that they need a bit of time to learn. But you also can’t drag it out. Determine quickly whether the person has the skills or doesn’t—otherwise, they become a toxic presence and a big headache for everyone around them.

Make a habit of reflecting

Every few months or so, schedule some time to sit down and really reflect on your past decisions. It helps if you keep a list of those key decisions along the way. Go back and evaluate those decisions. Would you make the same choices again? What would you change or do differently? What have you learned from your mistakes? And don’t just think about your own growth. Consider professional development opportunities that you can offer to your team to make your organization great.

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