Recently I had a business leader ask me, “When should I listen to my gut instinct and decide on an alternative course of action vs continue down the road I’m on and give my decision more time?”

This question is a common one for leaders, when to turn back vs keep going? I pondered his question and thought about my own business decisions and the mental processes I went through in deciding whether to change course or give something more time.  This is the power of having a business coach to discuss challenges with. They are able to take a step back and help CEO’s and other business leaders get out of their own weeds and process a situation from a different perspective.  Business coaches don’t give the answer, they ask the hard questions that allow an individual to discover their own inner truth. Business coaches also use the power of behavior profiles such as DISC, to help leaders understand their approach to problem solving and decision making.

Here are five things to consider as you evaluate a decision and discuss your thoughts with a coach:

  1. Red flags and warning signs: Often when something isn’t quite right there are a number of red flags and warnings signs that we see or feel. Some may be large, like a brick hitting you over the head, and others may be soft and quiet. But either way, these indications can build up over time to suggest that a change is needed.

  2. Trusted advisors: Are your friends and colleagues making comments that something may not be right about the path you are on? Listen to the important voices around you, especially when several people you trust are saying the same thing and over time the voices seem to be getting louder.

  3. Good faith effort: Have you given your chosen path time to take root? Have you made a good faith effort to follow a specific course of action? Can you honestly tell yourself you have tried your best?

  4. It shouldn’t be this hard: When something is right it just seems to flow naturally. That’s not to say you won’t have challenges along the way and hills to overcome, but generally you feel you are swimming with the current instead of constantly battling against it.

  5. Intuition: Is your gut gnawing at you? Do you have a persistent, even if quiet, voice in your head saying something is off or isn’t quite right? Our subconscious mind often picks up subtle signs our conscious mind misses. Our environment constantly gives us clues that are assimilated into our intuition. Our gut instinct is our primal voice of survival. Our instincts might be wrong on occasion, but most often in hindsight they were right.

It’s sometimes hard to turn back on a business decision. We have invested our time, energy, and resources to support the path we are on. Nonetheless, at some point we might need to cut our losses and take a different course of action. Not doing so could be much costlier in the end.

Understanding your own behavior profile and learning how you tend to approach decision making is critical to any leader. Schedule a complimentary coaching session to learn more.