THE BLOG
10/15/2014 03:10 pm ET Updated Dec 15, 2014

Why We Don't Trust Our Business Decisions

Do you have a hard time trusting your decisions?

They say that trust either makes or breaks a relationship; and as business owners Cadey and I know this all too well to be true.

Trust is the glue that holds everything in our businesses delicately together. From the relationships we have with our employees and customers, to decisions on whether we choose plan A or plan B, are all based on trust.

As business owners we make decisions based on how much we trust them-how much credibility our decision have.

Seems simple right?

You promote Bob, because Bob has shown you time and time again that he is capable of taking on more-in other words, he has earned trust. Your customers choose you over a competitor, because you have shown them time and time again that your product is truly worth their dollar-you have earned their trust.

So why is it so hard for business owners, to pull the trigger on business solutions?

Doubt. Doubt is the tiny seed that once planted into the brain of an entrepreneur, grows into an infectious disease that will either deter or destroy any business solution. An idea is a powerful thing once planted into the mind of an entrepreneur, but the seed of doubt is just as powerful-and incredibly underestimated. Once a business owner allows doubt to enter a situation, it will start to slowly eat away at the trust you once held in a business solution-creating a gap in the solution's credibility.

The Credibility Gap, small or large, will happily derail your business.

In our coaching business, Cadey and I have seen the Credibility Gap plague many of our clients. We will start the call with them by asking few clarifying questions to create a better picture of their situation, so we can provide them with the right solution. Then when we do provide a solution- that to us seems like a "no-brainer" we always hear, "Oh, well we have heard of that, but we are not just there yet." Another one we will hear is, "You know, I've heard of that strategy before, but we just haven't got around to implementing it."

In other words, what we really hear is, "I know that it is what I need to do, but I don't fully trust the decision, so I haven't done it yet."

Something that should be an "easy decision," like promoting Bob, is now now stalled; while the Credibility Gap that haunts the business owner grows. We allow that tiny seed of doubt to create a massive "credibility gap," and deter any progress from being made in our business. What once was, "Well, Bob struggles a little with this..." has now turned into, "Can Bob even handle this promotion?"

So how do we eliminate doubt and learn to trust our business decisions? By bridging the Credibility Gap.

Doubt is a part of life. As business owners we are going to have doubts, but we don't have to let doubt deter us from making decisions.

Some simple steps that we use, and teach our clients to use to bridge the credibility gap are:

  1. Be intentional- What is it the goal of this solution or decision? Make sure that you understand what the desired outcome is, and how that particular solution will get there.
  2. Track your progress- What will you need to know in order to determine if the decision or solution is effective? Make a list of metrics and measurements and establish a tracking system that will help you monitor the solution's progress. Tracking will allow you to see when a plan may be veering off course, so you can correct the situation before any serious damage is done.
  3. Make and appropriate commitment - For any solution to work, you have to commit to it. Start off small; if the commitment pays off, then invest more. By starting off small, your risk is reduced to a minimum and you can easily correct if you don't see progress.
  4. Communicate and be transparent- Communicate with your team, and make sure they know the intention, tracking mechanisms, and level of initial investment in the decision. Creating transparency with your team, allows them to help support you in your business solution decision. They will be able help you in tracking and monitoring its progress, but also help you ensure it's success.

Bridge the #CredibilityGap by setting your intention, tracking, and leveraging commitments. @TheCharfens @HuffPostBiz

By being intentional, tracking, slowing committing, and communicating clearly; you are creating a safety net around your business allowing you to bridge the Credibility Gap. With this foundation, you will have a better picture of the solution's effectiveness; and whether you need to pull back a bit or press forward.

By creating the bridge over the Credibility Gap for the solutions your business needs, you may also be building the bridge to your next level of financial and professional success.

Alex & Cadey Charfen are the Co-Founders of the Charfen Institute,