How to Make Decisions using the Importance Screen

How to Make Decisions using the Importance Screen

This morning one of my coaching clients was struggling with 1) a new manager, 2) a new role, 3) a former manager who expected him to continue doing the old work, 4) former colleagues who were not aware that his billable hours were now charged to a different business line.  He was distracted.

Sound familiar?

We all get distracted.  And the results are evident in 1) sloppy or inadequate work, 2) poor self care, diet, health, exercise, etc…

So what do you do to make smart decisions?

The Importance Screen is a great tool for sifting through choices.  Just as you sift sand through a screen before creating a cement foundation, this screen is a simple way to gain clarity.

The team at Stephen Covey’s “Five Disciplines of Execution” developed this screen:  Importance Screen v2.0

You can use it as a template and design your own.

Some tips:

1.  Start by listing the individual and team goals that you think are important… get it “out of your head and onto the paper.”

2.  Note that some goals have a net negative effect (-1) and assign a number to each goal in each column, then add them

3.  Trust your “gut instinct” so that it “trumps the data.”  We buy on emotion.  And we rationalize using techniques such as this Importance Screen.  Let it be predictive.  Not descriptive.  Use it to develop your 90-day plan, rather than explain your past 90 days.

4.  Tweak these headings to suit your scenario right now.

Oh, my client?  He stated that one takeaway from our session is that he will complete this Importance Screen within 48 hours, send a copy to me for review, then send a copy to his new boss when developing his 90-day plan.  If he needs to use it as a reference when talking with his former manager, then he will have this tool, “in his back pocket.”

So, how might you use this Importance Screen?

And if you have shared this Importance Screen with others, please comment below on how you have done so…

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