Early in my career, I had a boss who couldn’t make important decisions. Decisions that would have enabled me and my team members to act quickly, be productive, and achieve the success we all desired. Instead, the answer I consistently got was “I’ll call you Thursday”. (It wasn’t ALWAYS Thursday, but it seemed to be his favorite pick of the week.) Needless to say, Thursdays would come and go with no call. This indecision resulted in wasted time, reduced productivity, a sense of failing our internal customers, and feeling demoralized for not being trusted to make the decisions myself.
Are you a victim of indecision in your work environment? Are you an offender of indecision yourself? Well, it’s time to take action, because this indecision can have many negative impacts on:
- Your team’s motivation and morale.
- Your productivity, and ability to lead and build high-performing teams.
- Your reputation and the reputation of your team.
- Your overall success.
I see three main reasons why people have a hard time making decisions:
- They have fear of making the “wrong” decision. However, often times it’s an educated judgment call of which the results can’t be predicted. Sometimes you just have to roll the dice! Having said that, it’s important to weigh the importance, complexities, and consequences of your decision in order to determine how much time to spend on it. One thing is certain - endless evaluation is never an option!
- They feel a lack of empowerment to make decisions. Many people mistakenly think they don’t have the authority. An indecisive person may simply not realize that they ARE the accountable person, and they wait for someone else to make the decision. In other cases, employees may have been advised by leadership that they are not empowered to make certain decisions.
- Lack of decision-making skills is probably the number one reason for indecision. It can be argued that by building the skills, the fear and lack of empowerment will go away. Employees will be more confident, and therefore less fearful; and leaders will be more inclined to empower their teams to make decisions knowing they have the right skills to do so.
Some tips for making smart decisions include:
- Widen your choices – don’t go with the first idea that comes to mind or fixate on one option.
- Weigh the pros and cons of all your options.
- Take your personal bias out of the equation - don’t let emotions get in your way, but rather focus on the goals of the organization.
- Acknowledge that you may not have all the answers – collaborate, obtain facts, don’t be over-confident, and empower your team to make decisions where appropriate.
- Understand the difference between facts and information.
- Evaluate your decisions – both in the short and long term, because the right decision today may be the wrong decision tomorrow.
Eliminate indecision and infuse smart decision-making into your company culture. Judge Learning Solutions offers training and interactive workshops that result in consistent, effective approaches to decision-making throughout your organization. Call Judge today to explore your options. Leave a message – we’ll call you Thursday!