Most of us use the words “choice” and “decision” interchangeably to describe the same actions but distinguishing between those two words clears a lot of  confusion.

Here is how I think about it: A decision is bigger than a choice. A decision is strategic, and a choice is tactical. A decision is like an island, and the choice is like a boat full of rowers. In other words, decisions give direction. Decisions are made in advance so that choices are easy to make.

I recently spoke with a leader who was dealing with a disruptive employee who was on final warning. The choice was whether to terminate employment. When we looked at the policy (previous decisions) and the employee’s behaviors, the answer was easy.

Making exception after exception means one of two things: Either the previous decisions aren’t workable, or it’s not clear how to align choices to decisions.

This is part of an original article posted in SmartBrief. To see more click here.