When researchers first interviewed firefighters as to how they made critical decisions in the blink of an eye, they were astounded when firefighters said they really didn't know and it might just be 'ESP'. Well, years of research and analysis has proven that's not the case. However, there is certainly a lot we can all learn about timely decision-making used by emergency service experts the world over.

This book reveals these techniques and how you can apply them in business or daily life, empowering you to make effective decisions easily, quickly and with confidence. E-book available by clicking here.

Decision Skills Forged From Adversity.

How often have you just sat there, waiting for someone to make a decision, and inside your head you're screaming “Just decide so we can move on. Pleeeeease!”? Or is it you who has trouble making a decision? It's all too common.

One of the more frustrating situations is working with an indecisive manager, who keeps delaying decisions hoping that someone else will make that decision, perhaps the answer will eventually present itself or that the problem will simply go away.

And so, we wait and wait and wait....

The cost to business is hard to quantify. What is safe to say though, is that staff get frustrated and opportunities missed or lost.

The Real Costs

The costs of indecision, lack of timely follow-up, and inaction at the heart of organisational matters are many and varied. However, here's 10 costs of persistent, widespread indecision:

  1. Crucial steps toward achieving business goals are delayed or even postponed

  2. Processes and workflow become overwhelming, as things get lost in the works from persistent inaction, rescheduling and repetition

  3. Teams dissolve as colleagues begin to finger-point and take a ‘back-seat’ passive approach

  4. Morale goes downhill as people start to feel frustrated, exhausted and unimportant. Consequently, people stop striving and trying to be creative or pursue bigger projects

  5. Time is wasted reiterating and conducting meetings about previously discussed matters that weren’t actioned

  6. Opportunities are missed

  7. The lines of communication become clogged and expectations misunderstood

  8. Communication is abandoned as employees begin to feel that their efforts are ignored or unheard

  9. Customer service and the organisation’s raison d'être are compromised as employees become less motivated and interested in their work

  10. The organisation may develop a reputation as a difficult company to work with. Partnering organisations, vendors or customers might start steering clear of doing business with you

Simply put, patterns of indecision cause organisations big and small to deteriorate from within. And this doesn't necessarily have to be a commercial business. Clubs, societies, volunteer agencies, strata groups, committees and more can fall victim to the curse of indecisiveness. Apathy and indifference can permeate the very fabric of a organisation affecting each and every team member. Certain people may try to promote change, but if leadership revolves around the wheel of indecision, no real change will occur until the organisation addresses the problem from the top down.

In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
— Theodore Roosevelt

Russell Boon is an experienced Emergency Manager consulting to business and industry ensuring legal and regulatory compliance. Russell has 30 years experience in emergency management specializing in emergency planning and preparedness and developing an emergency mindset to empower everyday decision-making.

During an emergency there's no time for feasibility studies, qualitative or quantitative analysis or waiting for a budget estimates report before taking decisive action.

The time for a decision is now.

Basically, humans despise uncertainty. When we create an environment that is unclear, uncertain and unrewarding we set the foundation for poor leadership, low morale and lack of motivation.

To inspire confidence in both leaders and their teams we must empower those that lead to be decisive and have the confidence to progress.

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.
— Amelia Earhart

Can't decide? Let's discuss what we can do together

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