Dealing With Grey Areas
Those who know me well, would describe me as a ‘straight to the point’ ; very black and white type of a person, who’s either all in or all out.
Thinking about …it (and no disrespect intended), I’d be crap at a consulting type job. Mainly because I wouldn’t have the knack for expatiating business documents, processes, or even conversations; to then justify charging more by the hour.
Where a consultant would use three pages of foolscap, (for the youngsters, this is like A4 sized paper, from back in the day), to write a business proposal, I’d probably wrap it up in just two sentences. Though I’ve been told on good authority, that this is a skill, too.
Don’t get me wrong, grey areas, are unavoidable in business and life; and as with anything that seems tough at first, they need to be dealt with. But eventually, these grey areas present themselves as â€˜black and white; in fact, I can promise you that this always happens in the end.
So, on the rare occasion where you come across a grey area in your day to day goings on, how are you supposed to overcome them? I’d like to share the thoughts, actions, and processes that I engage in, when I find myself in the grey. We must also remember it’s the grey areas that give us the best learning:
1. BE DECISIVE. Just go with it, or not; you’ll eventually find out if your call was a good one. But once you’ve made your decision, work hard to ensure that it gives you the result you want.
2. Have a back-up plan: Be agile, have checks and balances in place, and monitor very carefully. This way, if you spot things that are working against you, you can quickly respond to rectify the situation. Ask yourself is this the worst-case scenario This will allow you to assess any risks.
3. Ask a random adult to ‘hypothetically’ position themselves in a certain situation; this will help you see a different perspective of things. But brace yourselves, as you won’t always hear the answers you’re looking for. If you find yourself feeling deterred by an unexpected response, then it means that you’d already made a subconscious decision, to begin with. What this exercise has done, is simply provided you with affirmation.
4. Ask a child for their opinion. Children see life in the main, with a very sanitised view; you’ll be surprised by how much wisdom they possess. Quite often they will give an obvious, yet powerful answer to your dilemma. All you have to do is explain the situation to them in a very simplistic way, this process alone can sometimes give you the clarity you need.
5. Take a piece of paper (Foolscap or A4) write down all the pros and cons and see which comes out best, then make your decision based on that simples!
6. The best one of all; Sleep on it. Something I do regularly now. If there’s an important decision or situation that needs to be addressed, I’ll buy myself some time, sleep on it, and make the decision the following day. This without fail, gives me an a better perspective to make the final call. A rested mind takes the emotion out of the decision.
Business has taught me many things; and the essence of it, is that it doesn’t need to be complicated. Yet I see many
entrepreneurs confuse what is essentially, a very straight-forward set of actions. Ironically, it’s the most obvious things that we tend to forget about, become complacent with, or simply just stop doing. A question that I like to ask when faced with a so-called grey area is, what’s that, at the end of our nose?; which in layman’s terms encourages people to think about the obvious and simple stuff.
It’s wise to keep this question at the forefront of your mind, whilst focussing on execution; doing this will ensure you have a thriving business.