Four Common Traps in Decision Making

Traps in Decision Making

One of the toughest tasks of a leader is decision making. The bigger the stakes are, the tougher the decision. To facilitate decision-making, leaders need to start with a strong sense of organizational values and direction. This conviction can then lead to data-based decision-making. Here are four watch-outs for leaders during the decision making process:

  • Fixation. Many leaders give disproportionate importance to a particular option they like, an option that they develop, or a particular information source. They become close-minded, fail to explore alternatives even if the preferred one seems appropriate.
  • Ego and hubris. Leaders often tend to lose focus when they put what they want to do ahead of what the organization should really do. Consider how the decision will affect the organization’s goals and values and how the decision can affect employees.
  • Inaction from attachment to the status quo. Change is often difficult to initiate and see through. Therefore, many leaders tend to prefer options that can maintain the status quo. If you find yourself inclining to the status quo, reassess the need for change and check if the status quo truly serves your objectives.
  • Validating data points. Often, we tend to seek and accumulate data that support an existing opinion. Check with a consultant, outsider, or colleague. Question employees who agree with you and ask them to collect data to dispute your arguments.

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