Good judgment is an essential business skill

A young banker asked a retired banker what was the secret of success in banking, to which the older banker replied, “Good judgement.”

The cheater then said, “How do you get good judgment?”

The big banker said, “Experience.”

To which the youth asked, “How do you get the experience?”

And the retired banker said, “Bad decision.”

Anyone who has ever been in business can relate to that story.

As a business leader and parent, one trait I value most is a person’s good judgment. Decision is the result of a person’s decision making. When your values ​​are clear, decision making becomes much easier.

Nothing can replace good judgement. International Day of Justice takes place every year on 17 January.

Leadership expert Warren Bennis said, “In the face of ambiguity, uncertainty, and conflicting demands, often under great time pressure, leaders must make decisions and take effective action to ensure the survival and success of their organizations.” “This is how leaders add value to their organizations. They lead the way to success by exercising good judgment, making smart calls, especially when difficult and complex decisions simply must be made, and then making sure they are done well.” properly implemented.”

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Leaders and team members face a variety of challenges every day: budgets, mistakes, delays, staffing, conflicts, security, profits. All demand making decisions that can affect the future of an organization.

What skills do you need to improve your judgement?

  • Morality is about knowing what is right and what is wrong. Is it fair and legal? When I talk about ethics in my speeches, I introduce the topic by saying, “Act like your mother is watching.”
  • Consistency is expected. You cannot let emotions or intense situations influence your judgment.
  • listen to learn. Listening to others allows you to gather and assess important information rather than relying on your own opinion or personal bias.
  • Admit your mistakes. Accept responsibility and move on. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes, figure out what went wrong and don’t repeat them.
  • Learn from experience. As the opening story says, there is nothing better than experience to improve your judgment. If something went wrong, do things differently next time, and if things went right, learn from your decisions.
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In addition to those skills, John Spacey, writing at, stresses the need for practicality and situational awareness. Making sensible and sound decisions requires accepting “difficult real-world situations such as uncertainty, gray areas and imperfections”. Equally important is “the ability to be highly observant and diligent in responding to fast-moving situations,” he writes.

Here is another story to illustrate my point. A business owner, nearing retirement, invests her life’s savings in a business venture elaborately explained by a swindler.

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When her investment vanished and her wonderful dream shattered, she went to the Better Business Bureau’s office. They asked, “Why on earth didn’t you come to us first? Don’t you know about the Better Business Bureau?”

“Oh, yes,” said the businessman sadly. “I always knew about you. But I didn’t come, because I was afraid that you would tell me not to.”

It’s a sad story we’ve heard over and over again. Too bad his decision didn’t prompt him to ask the questions he should have asked about the proposed investment. Simple but necessary questions could have saved him from a life of regret.

Mackay’s Moral: Judgment is knowing which door to open when opportunity comes knocking.

Harvey McKay is a businessman from Minneapolis. Contact him at 612-378-6202 or email [email protected]


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