Why can’t we just decide!
There are many reasons why people don’t make decisions in life and specifically when it comes to work related activities. The more self-aware you are regarding the decision making process, the easier it will be to rectify your own indecisiveness.
Here are a few reasons we make decisions:
1. The first one is obvious, in that we are afraid of making a poor or incorrect decision. Whether it’s due to fragile ego’s or not wanting to do something wrong, lots of managers push off decisions because they are concerned they will make an unwise decision. So, dig down deep and think to yourself, “Is my indecisive due to fear or is it legitimately related to another issue, such as lack of data”? If it’s the former, review all the information you have, take a deep breath, and decide. Mistakes happen! Part of being a manager is making the best decisions based on the information you have.
2. We don’t believe in ourselves! If you’re in a management position, someone believed in you enough to put you there. But often our self confidence or lack thereof can lead us to being indecisive. If you truly believe you don’t know what to do, consult with someone you trust and then decide. The worst thing to do though, is to sit on an important decision for too long. So have confidence in yourself and decide!
3. We’re trying to please everyone. Sometimes we have simple decisions to make, such as where to eat lunch, what time to start a program, where to hold an offsite team meeting etc. Often our indecisiveness is related to the fact that we’ve taken a poll of team members and colleagues and now we are trying to please the masses, which is never an easy feat. So, if you are taking a “poll” mention off the bat that your decision may or may not necessarily reflect everyone’s input (obviously). This way you feel less bound to a specific course of action.
4. FOMO: Fear of Missing Out. Every choice comes at the expense of something else. I choose to attend this conference, so I may miss out on another. I eat lunch here, instead of there. I hire this person instead of that. Some people are paralyzed by this irrational fear that once they choose the other option is just better. My friend invites me to a party on the weekend, but I don’t commit in case I get invited to a better one. While this is connected to making a wrong decision it’s somewhat different because you don’t necessarily think you are making a bad choice, it's merely that something better might along. In the case of hiring for example, if you find someone you think is suited don’t wait around for that fictitious “better” candidate you’re created in your mind because he or she may never turn up and then you are left with nothing. Or as the saying goes, A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. So if you "suffer" from FOMO in your personal life, make sure it doesn't carry over into your professional one!
Stay tuned for more on this topic next week, once I decide what to write about!