Indecision in your daily activities as it relates to your personal life, business engagement, economy or political work can reveal that you are faced with numerous challenges to either make a decision or not, to act or not, to postpone or not and to indulge in the habit of procrastination or not.
In order to avoid this situation it is advisable to understand the characteristics of decision making, the concept of decision making and consequences of decision making.
What is Decision Making?
Based on your emotion and on the state of your being, you can make a quick decision, impulsive decision, good decision and bad decision. Also you can decide not to make a decision of any kind a phenomenon otherwise known as indecision.
Decision making has been viewed by a school of thought that believes decision making is a cognitive process that estimates various alternative actions that is required to yield the most positive consequences. Also, decision making can mean processing of information to form strategies that can help you determine the optimum action to take in daily endeavour.
Decision making is something you bring to life through options that are available to you from the information already gathered. This can be a conscious, unconscious and personal choice or third party choice, corporate and authoritative body choice that has been made by you or presented to you out of possible courses of actions. So when you delay making a decision you are more than likely to fall into the realm of indecisiveness. Indecision is a conscious decision not to make a decision that yields positive consequences.
It is important to highlight that there is a price at stake both in decision making and indecision but the resultant consequences of indecision outweighs the former.
Characteristics of Decision Making
Every decision you make is either directly or indirectly characterized by any or combination of the following:
• If you have ever been faced with decision making, you will realize that it is one of the most difficult tasks to embark on because it can be nerve racking.
• It can arouse fear – fear is a form of emotion that can demoralize your rational thinking. Fear can distort the way your mind makes good decision. Also, it is not far-fetched that fear can cause wrong decision and/or lead to indecisiveness.
• Cognitive bias is another thing associated with decision making. This can result in mental errors and making of judgement based on incomplete and ambiguous information. According to Das and Teng (1999) processes of decision making are categorized as follows:
– Prior hypotheses and focusing on limited targets.
– Exposure to limited alternatives.
– Insensitivity to outcome probabilities.
– Illusion of manageability which, is believe that decision makers can manage and correct consequences of their decisions.
What is Involved?
Decision making as a process can be grouped into stages thus:
• Identify the need – proper identification of the intended result has to be established at the onset. This will guide your rational thinking and alert you when you are trying to make the wrong decision.
• Evaluate the data collected and determine their relevance in order to select the appropriate options.
• Make the decision based on the option that will produce positive result or outcome.
As a decision maker you are supposed to be equipped with certain qualities such as:
• Self esteem
Consequences of Indecision
• Each act of indecision cannot remain without a corresponding consequence and such can create new or secondary problem as a result of reluctance to make a decision.
• Indecision can lead you to magnifying the problem faced. The outcome can be devastating both on your body, emotion and psychological equilibrium.
• Failing to make a decision can result in transference of the decision to another person. This is usually the result of fear of incompetence or making the wrong decision. Eventually, it makes for poor managers and teams.
• Lost of productivity and opportunity.
Can You Delay Decision Making?
Absolutely, you can delay decision making. Remember that delay do not translate to avoidance. Hence, some of the reasons why you could delay can be as a result of time spent on gathering the necessary information to aid you.
Secondly, it can be as a result of the unsatisfied options before you, especially when such decisions are very critical and cost related.
Thirdly, a delay is recognized when you are involved in risk assessment. That is, evaluating the impact of that decision on other things associated with the decision.