4 Tips to Develop Seasoned Judgment

To advance in your personal leadership development journey, here are four tips to consider:

1) Know Your Limitations. Discern and embrace the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to enhance. Identify available people and resources to help when you face a challenging decision or task for which you lack expertise.

2) Identify Others’ Assets. Analyze the skills, knowledge, and experience that others have. Consider direct reports, peers, colleagues, etc. Focus on filling gaps in your own skill set for your leadership development.

3) Verify, Don’t Assume. Guard against acting too quickly on inadequate information. Hone ability to ask probing questions. Double-check your data and thinking with others to help ensure accuracy and sufficient analysis. Keep asking “Why?” to help discover the root cause – next time, try this at least 5-6 times. For example:

  • The materials didn’t arrive on time. Why?
  • The shipper didn’t know the need-by date. Why?
  • The person who placed order didn’t provide a due date. Why?
  • The person filled out 4 forms and thought date was listed. Why?
  • The # of forms is confusing’; there’s no tracking system. Why?
  • Funds for the tracking system were not approved. Why?
  • The need seemed less important than other priorities. Why?

This example illustrates the power of this process: It uncovered many issues rather than just blaming one person.

4) Spend Time Vetting. Analyze and inquire, considering stakeholders and others involved. Who else is impacted, can help, needs to know, or needs to have input?

For each option, think about the intended/unintended consequences for the stakeholder group. Review the issue’s scope, possible impacts and outcomes. Is there more to consider? What questions should I ask myself, my boss, and others? What is the true outcome I/we/they are aiming for? What am I missing?