5 Causes of Indecisiveness and How to Overcome Them 582

5 Causes of Indecisiveness and How to Overcome Them

This post was written by Brian Zeng, an entrepreneur by spirit and owner of Ponbee.com.

Have you ever felt a piercing pain in your stomach when you are unable to arrive at an important decision?

There is no need to feel disturbed. The most powerful leaders throughout time have grappled with the problem of indecisiveness. What distinguishes them from the rest, however, is their ability to identify the cause of the mental block and get rid of it.

Whether it is deciding which college to graduate from or choosing the right life-partner, decision-making can make one nervous. This inner conflict causes stress and makes one feel less confident.

Decision-making skills are vital in every walk of life.

Swift decision-making ability is a quality that is always in style. In the commercial world, managers are paid big bucks to make tough decisions. People who make good decisions are generally perceived as wise and successful by society.

Indecisiveness can make others doubt your abilities. And if you experience this often, it’s high time you do something about it.

Here are five major causes of indecisiveness and ways to overcome them.

1. Fear of Taking Responsibility.

At times, you fear making decisions either because you do not want to take ownership of the consequences or you’ve had a discouraging experience in the past. Either way, you avoid making a decision by brushing the problem under the carpet as you do not want to take the blame if something goes wrong.

The Way out: Learn to live with the consequences of your decisions – good or bad.

Take responsibility for your choices and learn from your experiences. If your decision has led you to move away from close friends, know that you can make new ones.

Choosing a dream job in another city will separate you from your family, but look at the positive side – you are living your dreams. Moreover, you can always meet them on weekends.

Fearing the outcome of a choice can keep you from taking risks and trying new things. When you dare to stand by your decision, you learn to find your feet in tough situations.

Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?”

When you identify your fear, you are ready with concrete solutions. By doing this you weaken its power to control your decision-making ability. 

2. Having Countless Choices.

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Research has shown that excess of choices can baffle you and drive you into decisions that are not in your best interest. Moreover, asking for too much advice from others will lengthen your list of options and bring you back to square one. So beware of the paradox of choice.

The Way out: Make a list of your choices and write down the pros and cons of each.

This strategy sounds quite obvious. However, the simple act of sitting down with a calm mind and evaluating your options makes you understand every facet of the situation.

You get clarity on your objective and figure out the best way to achieve it.

3. The Call for Perfection.

Often, the desire to be one hundred percent sure of the accuracy/correctness of your decision makes you indecisive. While this aspiration is laudable in most situations, it can trigger excessive stress and lead to a lack of self-trust.

If you strive for perfection in everything, chances are that you will put off making a decision for as long as possible because you fear failure.

The Way out: Procrastination is bad, but perfectionism is worse. Avoid waiting for conditions to be perfect to get started. Start small and accept the fact that new challenges will crop up later. Enjoy the journey and learn to take challenges in your stride.

Mark Zuckerberg started with a small business objective of connecting college students and faced multiple decision-making issues when he launched Facebook. However, he decided to take some calculated risks backed by solid groundwork.

Mark approached every problem by asking “Will this help us grow?” and this helped him plan in advance for contingencies. Facebook now connects the world and is a global phenomenon.

Thus, don’t wait until the conditions are flawless; simply go for it!

4. Being a People Pleaser.

Nothing leads to indecisiveness faster than letting the desire to please others dictate your actions.

Everything, from choosing a new dress to deciding what to eat, seems like a life-altering choice because you are allowing people’s views to drown your voice.

The Way out: Make self-awareness a priority. You cannot make everyone happy.

For instance, your friend asks you to pick the cuisine for dinner and you choose Mexican food. Maybe he longed for Italian food? But he asked you and you were honest, and your opinion is acceptable!

This principle applies to the bigger decisions of your life as well. Only you can make decisions that are right for you so focus on your own likes and dislikes. 

5. The Analysis-Paralysis Issue.

Indecisiveness can be the result of over-thinking.

After over-processing the issue, there comes a time when you feel handicapped about making a decision.

Without a doubt, analysis is done with the intention to come up with judicious decisions and strategies. However, over-analyzing will worsen your ability to make a prompt decision. 

The Way out: Accept the limits of analyzing a situation.

Understand that over-analyzing a situation will not help you in any way. Take quick action, examine the consequences, learn from mistakes, take corrective measures, and move on.

Let’s say you desire to pursue a course that will help you gain an edge over your peers at your workplace. In such a case, fretting over your ability to cope with the additional challenges that will come with pursuing further studies is futile. You will face challenges while managing your home, work, and studies. Accepting these challenges and overcoming them will make you more confident.

Making decisions, big or small, is like standing at the crossroads of life. Every decision you make comes with a certain proportion of risk attached to it, yet you ought to make a choice.

The above pointers will help you banish indecisiveness so that you are able to make up your mind.

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The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience 11

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience

Providing a flawless customer experience is the ultimate goal for any business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a customer experience that keeps your clients coming back for more. In fact, there’s so much involved that it can almost seem overwhelming.

However, providing a flawless customer experience becomes much easier when you approach the task through these five distinct elements:

Time
Understanding
Ownership of Emotions
The Unexpected
Follow-Through

Time

When it comes to your customers’ satisfaction, time is essential. Think of how a great experience at a new restaurant quickly sours if you’re left waiting for your food to arrive. Think of how your excitement over a great department store sale turns into frustration as you stand in line for what seems like hours.

Time is your most valuable resource and it is up to you to make sure you’re using your customers’ time wisely.

This is why restaurants have comfortable waiting areas with drinks and appetizers, or why airports have lounges with restaurants, shops, and even bars.

If your customers are being forced to wait for a service, make them feel as if their time spent is not wasted. The more positive drivers you offer customers, the less likely they are to grow dissatisfied with their experience.

Think of how you can implement this in your own business. Are there places where you can help fill customers’ time? Are there places where technology can be used to cut down on the time it takes to complete a task? Remember, it’s the customers’ time that should be valued, not your own.

Understanding

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You must understand what your customers want, when they want it, and how.

While this may seem daunting, getting a better understanding of your customers doesn’t take millions of dollars, complex data analytics, and a degree in psychology. Instead, all it takes is a simple look. Watch their process, engage with them, ask them questions, and listen to them.  

How are customers interacting with your product? What’s the first thing they do when they enter your store? What’s the last thing they do before they leave? How long are they spending in each department? Do you notice anything that hampers their experience?

Take a look at your competitors. How are your potential customers interacting with them? What does this business offer that you don’t or vice versa? What is your, as Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen says, “job to be done?” What are your customers hiring your product or service to accomplish? Understand why your users are turning to your products.

Ownership of Emotions

Many companies have already taken hold of their customers’ emotions, though cynically. Subliminal advertising is a key example. However, the ownership of emotions does not have to be cynical. When used correctly, it can be the “holy grail” for companies.

Owning emotions begins with the aforementioned ability to understand. When you truly understand a customer’s choices and then act to make the experience better, you’re building a relationship of trust. That trust is the foundation of emotional ownership.

One way to build this trust is to reduce the “emotional” noise that surrounds your customers. Let them know that, even on their worst day, your business or product is there for them and that it will be a constant in their lives.

Think of restaurants and the long wait times you have to endure when they’re busy. Think of how angry—or “hangry”—you feel as you stand around, waiting for your table, and listening to your stomach growl. However, think of how some restaurants are able to reduce that emotional noise by serving you finger foods and drinks as you wait.

Also, seek to understand what emotionally motivates your customers.

Why should they be motivated to visit your store or use your product? To feel confident? Free? Unique? Secure? Successful? Research shows that all human beings are motivated by one of those factors.

The Unexpected

Experiences become stronger and more memorable when they’re accompanied by an element of surprise. Surprise can be addictive, which will only keep your customers coming back for more.

Think about mailing your customers or clients small packages with gifts and swag. Everyone loves to get mail and everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s least expected.

A surprise doesn’t have to be a huge flash mob (though it could be!). Hand out snacks at your store. Is it a cold day? Give your customers hot chocolate or warm punch. Is it a client’s birthday? Send a card! Even a small note of thanks for a customer’s business is a nice little surprise.

The most important thing to remember: simply be sincere and don’t become predictable. Chocolates on hotel pillows were once a great surprise for guests. However, now that their wow-factor has faded, hotels are continuously trying to get back to the “unexpected.”

Follow-Through

You’ve made promises and established goals. The only thing that’s left is to follow through on them. This starts with creating your mission statement, one that you, your employees, and your customers can commit to it. This will define your customer experience.

Your mission statement must promise to impact yourself/your business, the community, or the world. It may commit to impacting one, or all three. However, whatever it promises, you must follow through on. Your customers’ trust, and thus their experience, depends on it.

More about these five elements can be discovered in Unforgettable: Designing Customer Experiences that Stick, to be published in 2018.

***
Kyle H. David has made a career in technology and entrepreneurship for nearly 20 years. In 2001, he formed The Kyle David Group, now KDG. Over the past 16 years, KDG has grown at a rapid pace, attracting clients ranging from the United States Senate to major financial institutions, international nonprofits, and Division I universities.