9 Habits That Lead to Terrible Decisions - Deepstash
9 Habits That Lead to Terrible Decisions

9 Habits That Lead to Terrible Decisions

Curated from: hbr.org

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Habits That Make You A Bad Decision-Maker: Laziness

Habits That Make You A Bad Decision-Maker: Laziness

This shows up as a failure to check facts, take the initiative, confirm assumptions, or gather additional input.

Basically, such people are perceived to be sloppy in their work and unwilling to put themselves out. They rely on past experience and expected results simply to be an extrapolation of the past.


413 reads

Not Anticipating Unexpected Events

It is discouraging to consistently consider the possibility of negative events in our lives, so most people assume the worst will not happen.

Unfortunately, bad things happen fairly often. People die, get divorced, and have accidents. Markets crash, house prices go down, and friends are unreliable.

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.


355 reads

Habits That Make You A Bad Decision-Maker: Indecisiveness

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.


304 reads

Habits That Make You A Bad Decision-Maker: 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.


288 reads

Having No Strategic Alignment

Bad decisions sometimes stem from a failure to connect the problem to the overall strategy.

In the absence of a clear strategy that provides context, many solutions appear to make sense. When tightly linked to a clear strategy, better solutions quickly begin to rise to the top.


294 reads

Habits That Make You A Bad Decision-Maker: Over-Dependence

Some decisions are never made because one person is waiting for another, who in turn is waiting for someone else’s decision or input.

Effective decision-makers find a way to act independently when necessary.


299 reads

Habits That Make You A Bad Decision-Maker: Isolation

Research on effective decision-making recognizes that involving others with relevant knowledge, experience, and expertise improves the quality of the decision.

Sometimes people lack the necessary networking skills to access the right information. Other times, people do not involve others because they want credit for a decision. Unfortunately, they get to take the blame for the bad decisions, as well.


253 reads

Lack Of Technical Depth

Organizations today are very complex, and even the best leaders do not have enough technical depth to fully understand multifaceted issues. But when decision-makers rely on others’ knowledge and expertise without any perspective of their own, they have a difficult time integrating that information to make effective decisions.

And when they lack even basic knowledge and expertise, they have no way to tell if a decision is brilliant or terrible.


249 reads

Failure To Communicate The What, Where, When, And How Associated With Their Decisions

Some good decisions become bad decisions because people don’t understand – or even know about — them.

Communicating a decision, its rationale and its implications is critical to the successful implementation of a decision.


268 reads



Marine Scientist

Lauren Ford's ideas are part of this journey:

How To Become a Better Decision-Maker

Learn more about habits with this collection

Understanding the importance of decision-making

Identifying biases that affect decision-making

Analyzing the potential outcomes of a decision

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