Are You That Chronically Indecisive Boss?

Joe Weinlick
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Are you the type of manager who struggles with too much data, too many opinions and too many directions in which to go? An indecisive boss can drag down a team, a department and even an entire organization. What do you do when your chronic decision-making inability prevents your company from growing? Discover a few tips to alleviate this problem.

Expert Analysis

Sydney Finkelstein, director of the Leadership Center at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, says that an indecisive boss makes employees and teammates unsure of what to do. From a career perspective, this attribute may hold you back from attaining higher positions, promotions or raises.

How to Cope

Here are some tips that can help you to cope with your indecision, especially if you feel your abilities might become a chronic problem.

1. Figure Out Why

Find out why you are an indecisive boss. Did your previous supervisor always contradict your ideas? Do you always blame someone else for failures rather than taking responsibility for them? Perhaps you're waiting for someone else to step up on your team and show some leadership skills and insights. Get to the bottom of the problem before it becomes a bigger one. At this point, you have to be painfully honest with yourself and your colleagues to build trust.

2. Trust Others

You can't do it all because you're the manager of a team. You must learn to rely on your teammates to get the job done, tell you when there's an issue and come up with ideas that work. The point of having diverse opinions at the office is to have the best innovations moving forward, and you can't do that on your own.

3. Talk to Everyone

Ask everyone on the team questions about how your personality as an indecisive boss affects their performance and productivity. Try not to sound too confrontational, and ask for honest opinions for everyone. The idea is that getting other people's perspectives on your behavior may give you insights and may inspire you to change your ways for the better. It also helps build trust.

4. Take Responsibility

Your brain might be stuck in analysis mode because you have a ton of data at your fingertips and don't know what to do with it. Run ideas past others on your team, and get their opinion on what the information says. Taking responsibility and taking action are better than doing nothing when someone must move forward with a plan. You can always change plans if one idea doesn't pan out the way you want.

5. Rely on Mentors

Rely on the help of mentors to see you through a tough decision. Mentors may have some insights because they have been down this road before. It's always a good idea to find someone with more experience to talk to when you reach a crossroads in your career or when you're stuck on something. A mentor can break you out of indecisive boss mode and put you on the path to becoming a great business leader.

When you find yourself unable to move forward, slow down and take a good look at why you can't take the next step. If you're an indecisive boss, figure it out soon, because an entire team depends on you.

Photo courtesy of Idea go at


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