Indecision – How to Beat it Right Now
Feeling paralysed by choices and unable to decide on the right way forward is frustrating. Decision making, especially in high stake situations, takes a high emotional toll on many of us. Even the world’s most powerful leaders often struggle when making important choices. Indecision, in a business environment, is a crippling mental state. But it’s one you can improve.
Why Beating Indecision is Important
A leader sets the pace and direction of the business. That often means having to make quick decisions, even when presented with multiple choices and consequences. An indecisive leader is reluctant to take action. This can filter down the chain of the command and create a culture where employees lack direction and focus. Such a leader leaves critical outcomes to chance, which is a poor demonstration of authority and responsibility.
Decisiveness is essential in strategising, problem-solving and conflict management. Without a firm handle on decision making, it becomes impossible to realise your business aspirations. Making decisions moves you towards your goals and targets.
How to Cure Indecision
Indecisiveness adversely affects your business, workforce and leadership skills. If you regularly find yourself having difficulty making choices, here are five tips to help you kick this problem into touch:
1. Trust Your Judgement
Indecisiveness often stems from worrying about the responsibility of making the right choices and bearing the consequences of the wrong ones. The fear of making poor decisions may cripple your self-belief.
In such a situation, it’s important to cultivate a strong sense of faith in yourself. Believe strongly that your judgement is correct, and that you’ve chosen the best option for the best reasons. Write down your pros and cons and review them yourself until you feel confident your decision is right.
2. Set Deadlines
Procrastination often leads to indecision. Postponing the decision-making sometimes occurs when the deadline is far in the future, or there is no time limit set at all. Sitting on a problem never makes it any easier. If anything, the longer you wait, the harder it becomes to decide. It also helps to make important decisions when the information pertaining to them is still fresh in your mind. Putting off decisions may mean you forget vital components of the available choices.
Set strict deadlines when making decisions. Avoid distractions or unnecessary delays. Over time, this habit trains your mind to tackle problems head-on and in good time.
3. Over-Thinking Leads to Indecision
Although this point may seem counter-intuitive, gathering too much information can lead to indecision. As much as it’s essential to analyse the implications of every choice thoroughly, you shouldn’t overdo it.
Colin Powell, the former US Secretary of State, came up with the 40/70 rule to help with the problem of indecisiveness. The rule states that you should have between 40-70% of all the information you need before making a choice. The goal is to know just enough to inform a decision, but not too much that the options become fuzzy.
5. Involve Colleagues in The Decision-Making Process
In some cases, it helps to see things from a different perspective before making a choice. Remember, even as a leader, you may be personally biased towards some options without having fully considered how they might affect other people.
Encourage input from other involved parties such as employees, partners and stakeholders – particularly those who are directly affected by your decisions. You might pick up some valuable insights that could help inform your choice. Doing this also shares some of the decision making burden and improves team relationships.
5. Accept That You Can’t Please Everyone
You rarely pick choices that please everyone. Remember that many people object or complain about anything you suggest! Your aim should be to arrive at the best compromise every time. Sometimes, that means that individuals may not be pleased with your decisions. Don’t get caught up in the perpetual cycle of crafting the perfect plan that works on all levels. This is not only frustrating; it’s usually impossible. See the bigger picture and make choices that contribute to the greater good of the business.
Beating Indecision: Conclusion
Don’t let indecision keep you from making drastic changes to your business or exploring new opportunities and risks. As a leader, you need to be headstrong and confident. The ability to make time-conscious decisions in the face of adversity and uncertainty is what distinguishes the leader from the followers.
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