Our decisions define us. And the path to making those decisions stems from something just as personal: our habits. Habits can either take us down the good path or the bad path of decisions.
The following habits of poor decision makers come from data collected and analyzed by authors, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman; from looking at the behaviors of more than 50,000 leaders.
These are the habits they found lead to bad decisions:
Zenger and Folkman found that those participants who failed to check facts, take the initiative, confirm assumptions, or gather additional input were perceived as lazy; and that they relied on past experiences and expected results. Naturally, these people were in the category of poor decision makers.
One area of your life not to be lazy about is your online identity. Laziness in this area can potentially led to you falling into scam, or having your identity stolen.
2. Not anticipating unexpected events
One should “always be prepared for the unexpected.” If you’re not, you could encounter walking down the path of a bad decision. Which makes sense – just look at concept of situational awareness. More of a mindset than a skill, situational awareness is essentially the ability to comprehend your environment and sense potential threats. When you’re able to anticipate something coming, you have time to think things through, weigh your options, and make an informed choice.
An example of how anticipating the unexpected can led to good decisions is the true story of this BeenVerified customer who decided to do a background check on the man who was crushing on her. Long story short, she discovered some disturbing information about the guy.
Author Hunter S. Thompson once said, “The man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” Adding to this universal truth, it seems that when things get to the point that a choice is made for you, the choice that gets made isn’t usually a good one.
In their analysis, Zenger and Folkman concluded that it takes courage to make a decision; and that “oftentimes” indecision is worse than making the wrong decision.
4. Staying stuck in the past
The poor decision makers in Zenger and Folkman’s study tended to rely on old data or old approaches that worked before. And “too often” the decision was destined to be a bad one because the information is no longer true.
Times are always changing. We should always remember to make decisions based on current information. Our massive public records database potentially has information that can help you make more informed decisions about the people you choose to meet and interact with.
Being overly dependent upon someone can sometimes lead to a decision never being made because one person is waiting for the other person’s decision or input and vice versa.
While we all depend on people to a certain extent, be cautious of who you’re depending on and how much you’re depending on them. Sometimes, people in trusted positions harm those they’ve been entrusted to care for.
Zenger and Folkman noted that “effective decision making recognizes that involving others with the relevant knowledge, experience, and expertise improves the quality of the decision.”
If there’s a decision you need to make involving a person you want to know more about, BeenVerified potentially has the knowledge to improve the quality of your decision.
The next time you face a decision, think about your habits. Could any of them lead you down the wrong path? Use the resources we discussed in this blog as your guide.