Stop Second-Guessing Your Decisions

Leadership Connections Blog

It is fairly common for new leaders to lack confidence in their decision-making abilities.  Here’s how to make a change for the better.

Melissa’s team came to her with a problem with a department that implemented key customer programs. She had ample industry experience and felt that she had devised a good path toward resolution. However, in a discussion with her peer, he presented his case and Melissa doubted her instincts, in part because she was new to her role and the VP level. During the interaction, she thought she should challenge her peer and stand her ground, but in the end she went with her peer’s suggestion, even though she still thought her idea had the most merit. Reflecting on the conversation, she wished that she hadn’t “let him win,” but was unsure how to prevent it from happening again in the future. How could she stop doubting and start trusting her good judgment?

It is fairly common for new leaders to lack confidence in their decision-making abilities. However, you can proactively address that challenge by applying a standard decision-making process. For example:

  • Begin with the top 3 issues that need to be decided
  • Assess the information you have
  • Consider the agenda of key stakeholders
  • Set a deadline by which you will make – and stick with –your decision 

By using this approach often and practicing your decision-making skills, you will begin to gain confidence.

Leader’s Reaction: 

Melissa was still concerned with her ability to stick with her decisions, but decided to try this approach.


Over period of 60 days of practicing her decision-making skills, Melissa regained a great deal of confidence. She felt calmer and more poised when presenting her decisions at meetings, and received positive feedback for this change from her manager.

Need more? Check out this related post on managing with confidence.