We all want to make the right choice. But perhaps the most difficult aspect of making right choices is recognizing that you have the right to choose. It’s often easier for us to see ourselves as victims than empowered men and women who have been given the gift of choice.

Gift of choice.

Portrait of confused and uncertain hispanic woman biting nail on white background and looking at camera

Recently I attended a client-sponsored roundtable discussion where the topic was “how to improve the company’s morale.” In discussing what causes low morale one person after another cited management as the culprit. In an effort to stimulate a different line of thinking, I asked “Are employees ever responsible for their actions, or is it always management’s fault?” Then I said, “It appears that gossip by employees contributes to low morale.” As you can imagine I kindled strong responses in some people. One man spoke up and said, “I don’t want to talk about the individual, I want to talk about management because if they treat us better, we’d act better and we’d enjoy your jobs more.”

Certainly many organizations need improvement. There are countless books on how organizations can improve their cultures and there are consultants who specifically deal with those issues. But be that as it may, we too, play a part in the outcomes we experience. If we use the fact that management doesn’t treat us kindly as an excuse to treat other people unkindly, then we are no better than our managers. Recognizing we have a choice is a key to making right and different choices.

Difficulty making decisions?

If you are having difficulty making a decision, be specific in identifying what gets in your way and be as honest as you can in identifying the barriers between you and making the right choices.

The best way to do that is to ask questions, which will often help you in understand what your choices are. It also puts some time between you and your need to make a decision immediately. But those who ask questions are often perceived as troublemakers. “Why can’t you just leave things alone?” Why do you have to ask so many questions?” Or my might be perceived as stupid, unprepared, or not having it all together. Yet asking questions for clarification is a surefire way to avoid the misunderstanding that come from making assumptions. Have the courage to walk through the fear of what others will think of you.

What can you do today to move you closer to making better choices?

Perhaps it’s to talk to a buddy, or go into meditation so you can listen to your inner voice. Maybe it’s writing out your feelings about a situation, or asking some questions for clarification. Whatever you do, it’s important that you do something.

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