Growing Leaders: Give It Some Thought
February 17, 2015
by Steven Grabiner
I’m sure that you have experienced this problem at some time in your life. There is an important decision to be made and you are feeling stuck--torn between competing options that all have something good about them, as well as potential for going wrong. You have thought about, prayed about it, counseled with others, but as the one responsible, the leader, it is time for you to decide. Yet it seems like the closer you get to the decision point, the greater mental paralysis sets in. However there are some things you can do to help jumpstart the process. Just as turning your computer off and on again can clear certain problems, there are a couple of helpful tips that can assist in clarifying what choice to make.
One of the keys in breaking the logjam of decision paralysis is to shift your point of view, or to reframe the issue at hand. A frequent decision making inhibitor is too narrow a perspective. If we are viewing the decision from one point of view, we are missing many other possibilities. To help in this situation, take the choice you are leaning toward, and remove it (perhaps temporarily, perhaps permanently) as an alternative. This will force you to look around for possibilities you may have ignored, thus creating new insights.
Another way to change your focus is to think of all the reasons your current favorite choice is a horrible one. What evidence can you find to argue against the path you want to take? How would you convince someone else this really is a bad option? This will help you think more broadly about your choice.
With both of these tips, you might come back to your first option, but at least you will have thought through the situation more carefully.