My friend Stephen attended a workshop over last weekend. As he relayed the event, he commented that the instructor had a favorite response to many questions… “Your choice.”

It is our choice, isn’t it? Yet, life doesn’t always feel as simple as those two words make it seem.

Sometimes, you have to make hard choices and sometimes the right choice isn’t very clear. Thinking about making a tough choice, first try to reflect on the law of unintended consequences… each time a choice is made other things will change. If possible, allow time to explore the benefits and risks involved in changing or not.

When faced with a hard decision, here are CHOICE keys to consider:

Choose one decision at a time. Revisit your goals and values and examine alternatives. This is a good time to check in with both your heart and head. What
do you feel and think about the decision?

Honor those affected by your choice. Be proactive and inform them first. Do not play games or beat around the bush. Be transparent.

Open your communication and say what you mean. Use whole messages. A whole message has 4 parts; a description of the need for the decision, your thoughts around the decision (beliefs, values, goals,) your feelings about the decisions (your opinion or interpretation,) and your desired outcomes for the decision.

Independent balanced with interdependent. Respect there will be differences. One
can still care about someone who has different ideas, interests, and opinions to your own. If you expect them to respect your choices one must respect someone else’s choices and opinions as well.

Courage to know your boundaries and maintain a commitment to the decision. This is not to imply that sometimes decisions cannot change, but be alert to pressures that go against your decision.

Endorse your decision, endure your choice, enjoy your outcome… I came up with so many “E”s it was hard to choose…

Author's Bio: 

Learn to Inspire, Influence and Get Real Results! There is no better way to market your business and services then telling people what you do… Sharon Sayler, MBA, helps leaders, executives, and business owners inspire employees, grow companies and increase their sales by teaching them to become powerful and influential communicators. Visit for more great ideas and free white papers.