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What To Do If You Don't Know What To Do?

How many times have you been in a situation or been faced with an issue or challenge at work or in your business when you don't know what to do? What do you do when you don't know what to do?

Here are some ideas for you to try when you don't know what to do at work or in your business:

Step back, gather information and analyse where you are. A good starting point is to step back from the situation and look at it rationally. Gather all the information and analyse the situation thoroughly. You may want to involve others in this process. By doing this you may work out what to do.

Be clear about what you are trying to achieve. Understanding what you want to achieve and how this fits in with the business as a whole and the company strategy and plan may help you to decide the next steps. Comparing where you are now with where you want to be will help you understand the gap and what you may want to do and in what order.

Consider the way you are thinking. Sometimes our thinking can be a barrier to deciding what to do in a situation. You may be over generalising, taking an all or nothing approach, being too black and white, disqualifying the positive or filtering out useful information. Notice how you are thinking and consider changing the way you are thinking. This could unlock you and help you decide what to do.

Ask open questions. Ask yourself and your team open questions to really explore the situation, challenge or issue. This may include what, why and how type questions as well as what if type questions which help you bypass your rational mind. This may enable you to look at things differently and decide what to do.

Think about similar situations you have experienced before. You may not have been faced with the same situation before but you or your team may have faced similar situations before. What did you do and what can you learn from your previous experiences? Often in doing this you will find that you can use your past to help with the current situation.

Seek out a fresh perspective. There are many ways to gain a fresh perspective on a situation including talking to and listening to others both inside and outside of your business, looking at how other businesses have handled similar challenges, thinking about what an impartial observer would recommend and considering the wider business world. A fresh perspective may unlock the situation very quickly and help you to decide the next steps.

Get creative. You may need to get creative in order to generate options and solutions to your current predicament. There are lots of techniques that you can use including using associations, connections and opposites, brainstorming, parking your assumptions and many more. Get creative and you may find the answer very quickly.

Pay attention to your feelings and your intuition. Intuition uses information from a wide range of sources including emotional, physical and instinctive and it enables you to quickly make sense of a complex situation at a subconscious level. It is often called the sixth sense. Where you cannot rationally explain why you chose a particular course of action, it is probably down to your intuition. Using a combination of reason, experience, information and intuition can be very powerful in business and help you decide what to do.

Take a break. If you take a break from work and do something different you may be surprised how quickly the ideas start to flow. You often have your best business ideas when you are away from work and engaged in a different activity. You may leave work in the evening not knowing what to do and come back in the morning knowing exactly what to do.

Ask an expert. If you still don't know what to do, you may want to seek expert help, whether that be a consultant with expert knowledge and advice or a coach or mentor who can help you generate options and ideas.

Hopefully the above has given you some food for thought when you don't know what to do at work or in your business.

Author: Liz Makin
Published: November 2015

Through Makin It Happen - Coaching, Mentoring & Stress Management, Liz Makin provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals. If you are looking for a business coach, business mentor or help with stress please contact Liz on 01780 765270 or email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk to arrange a free consultation session.


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