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Making winning decisions by avoiding these three mistakes
April 5, 2020
Habits That Lead to Terrible Decisions – Critical Thinking
The quality of a manager’s results is linked to the quality of their judgement, analysis and decisions. Most of the time these decisions are made on time and achieve good results. Critical Thinking and Problem solving is a key skill required to lead organisations.
But, why do managers and teams sometimes make terrible decisions? Or delay and cause problems as a result? Here are three reasons to consider: Laziness, indecisiveness and staying locked in the past.
This showed up as a failure to check facts, to take the initiative, to confirm assumptions, or to gather additional input. Basically, such people were perceived to be sloppy in their work and unwilling to put themselves out. They relied on past experience and expected results simply to be an extrapolation of the past.
This also includes not anticipating unexpected events. There is excellent research demonstrating that if people just take the time to consider what might go wrong, they are actually very good at anticipating problems. But many people just get so excited about a decision they are making that they never take the time to do that simple due diligence.
At the other end of the scale, when faced with a complex decision that will be based on constantly changing data, it’s easy to continue to study the data, ask for one more report, or perform yet one more analysis before a decision gets made. When the reports and the analysis take much longer than expected, poor decision makers delay, and the opportunity is missed.
It takes courage to look at the data, consider the consequences responsibly, and then move forward. Oftentimes indecision is worse than making the wrong decision. Those most paralyzed by fear are the ones who believe that one mistake will ruin their careers and so avoid any risk at all.
Remaining locked in the past
Some people make poor decisions because they’re using the same old data or processes, they always have. Such people get used to approaches that worked in the past and tend not to look for approaches that will work better. Better the devil they know. But, too often, when a decision is destined to go wrong, it’s because the old process is based on assumptions that are no longer true. Poor decision makers fail to keep those base assumptions in mind when applying the tried and true.
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