Gain More Confidence in Your Managerial Judgment

Transitioning from being an individual contributor to a people manager is hard. You’re no longer only responsible for your own work and career; your decisions now have a direct impact on somebody else’s professional life. This can feel like a lot of responsibility—and it is! But there are habits you can build to develop your managerial judgment.

Listen. You may feel pressure to come up with an answer to every question or a solution to every problem. But remember that asking the right questions and listening—to your team, superiors, and key stakeholders—is an equally important leadership skill.

Consider a range of options. Poor judgment often comes from an inability (or unwillingness) to consider all the possible solutions to a given problem. To expand your point of view, ask trusted colleagues for input: “I’ve identified options A and B, and here are the trade-offs I see. What am I missing?”

Trust data…and your intuition. Good judgment ought to be backed up by data. But data alone can’t tell you whether a decision is right or wrong. Learn to trust your intuition. Your emotions, such as a feeling of discomfort, might be a clue that something is off or that you need further input.

Be patient. Snap decisions that go awry can be costly and hurt your credibility. Following a good process can help ensure that you form solid opinions and make decisions you can stand behind.