What causes the common perception that people shy away from tough decisions and how to resolve it?

One of the common challenges is the complaint about the lack of ability to make tough decisions. You’ll hear it most of the time from people that impact from the decision with a comment that they could decide faster. Rarely but consistently, you’ll hear the same complaint from management, usually executive.

The common perception is that the disability to make tough decisions impact the performance of a group or a company. The reality is that people are making their decision fast, usually faster than they need. Most of the time the decisions are based on the part of our brain that thinks fast and jumps to conclusions based on past experience instead of deep thinking.

First making tough decisions fast is not a recommended practice. It’s better to take time and think through before deciding. One way or another, there is still the perception of people not taking tough decisions. Mainly because of the time that they take to decide. Rarely because they didn’t make any decision.

If people decide relatively fast, why do people think other people shy away from tough decisions? Let’s take a scenario to get a better understanding. Let’s say that you decided to renovate the landscape of your subdivision. Is the fact that you decided is enough to make the change? No, now you have to start to convince other people that this is the right thing to spend money and effort on. Just when you have enough to support your decision, it will become a reality.

The same applies to leaders in organizations. It’s not enough to decide and tell people to do it. This kind of management style is not applicable in our world anymore. Once a leader decides he needs to build support within the group of the people who will implement his decision. Just when he believes that he has enough support, he will publically announce the decision.

Smart leaders know that when they need to make a decision it’s better to get support before announcing the final decision. Building support takes time. You might say that leaders need to be bold and make decisions that are not conformists. That is true, but it’s also true that they need to get support before they announce their decision.

The time that it takes for a leader to gauge how his decision will be accepted by people creates (most of the time) the perception of not making tough decisions. As the decision will impact more people and require more people to carry it out, it will take more time to gauge and build support.

Obviously as the leader, or any decision-maker knows who will be impacted by his decision, the time that it takes for him to get an assessment on the support level and building support will be shorter. The result is a lower perception of shying away from tough decisions.

Regretfully most of the leaders in organizations focus their time on people and groups, rather than spending time and effort to understand the interactions, impacts, and flows between people and groups. As a result, when one needs to use connections for any reason, they need to spend time not just or using the network, but also to figure out what is the network.

Leaders that know the network very well and spend time with the network know most of the time how a certain decision will impact people, what is the support level it will get, and how feasible it is to get support. Equipt with this information they don’t need the buffer between making the internal decision and letting everyone else know what they decide. 

Galaxies spend time and effort to create a framework that enables any leader to be familiar with his network and the flows, impacts, and interactions within the network. Our framework can help leaders to have the confidant level for making and announcing decisions. 

We base our framework on depicting different attributes and aspects of people (and groups) interactions, impacts, and the flow of information and materials between them. We depict the collected data into models and use simulations to validate the model accuracy compering to reality. This information enables us to use the insights collected from the models to different purposes, one of them is helping leaders to improve the perception of making tough decisions. 

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