28 Common Decision-Making Mistakes to Avoid
We make a lot of decisions every day. They have a huge impact on our happiness and success. Yet most of us never question whether our decision-making process is flawed. It stands to reason that the only way to avoid the land mines is to know where they’re located. Here are 28 mistakes to avoid:
- Shoot from the hip. Failing to consider relevant information.
- Yesterday’s news. Basing decisions on outdated information.
- Define the problem. Losing sight of the key objectives.
- Learn your lesson. Failing to apply lessons learned from previous experiences.
- To-do versus must-do. Addressing low-priority activities just to check off items.
- Emotions get the better of you. Making important decisions in a poor frame of mind.
- False assumptions. Failing to consider personal bias or inexperience.
- Frame of reference. Making decisions in a vacuum.
- Analysis paralysis. Waiting for every piece of information before making a decision.
- Garbage in. Relying on sources with poor credibility.
- Fear the worst. Avoiding a decision out of fear of making a mistake.
- Band-aid solutions. Making a quick fix rather than addressing the root cause.
- Ego. Failing to request or consider input from people in the know.
- Take the good with the bad. Failing to view the downside as well as the upside.
- Jump the gun. Selecting the first option rather than exploring alternatives.
- Plunging in. Rushing to judgment without understanding the ramifications.
- Piecemeal. Optimizing a single component at the expense of the whole.
- Fixed focus. Failing to account for a changing landscape.
- It’s all in the details. Giving inadequate thought to implementation.
- Silver bullet. Doing what’s easy rather than what’s best.
- Overly complex. Making implementation overly complicated.
- Out of sight. Failing to consider opportunity costs.
- Deer in headlights. Postponing decisions until tomorrow.
- Cover your behind. Making decisions merely to justify previous actions.
- Neglecting your values. Selling your soul rather than doing what’s right.
- Forest and trees. Getting caught up in the details while missing the big picture.
- Looking over your shoulder. Spending more time second-guessing decisions than moving forward.
- Bury your head in the sand. Avoiding reality.
Do any of these 28 decision-making mistakes sound familiar?
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Hassan Bouyebri says
This is me ‘Deer in headlights. Postponing decisions until tomorrow’
Dan Dyer says
I have a problem with the “want to do” vs “need to do” decisions. I need to do X, but want to do Y. I also “fear the worst”. I hate making mistakes.
Frank Sonnenberg says
I hear what you’re saying, Dan.
When you have a moment, check out my post, “Dilemma: Have To vs. Want- to” I think it addresses your point. Here’s the link for your convenience.
Thanks for taking the time to write.