Friday, October 18, 2013

Indecisiveness is good?

All our actions in life are goaled towards ‘Certainty’. The more we have it the better we feel. However, indecisiveness is a personality trait that is common across most of us unless it is chronic. We are indecisive about which course of action to take. Our preferences swing like a pendulum between choices at hand. As per Behavioral scientists indecisiveness emanates from the need to achieve certainty. So for a layman ‘Certainty’ is root of indecisiveness.

Consider the indecisiveness that a teenager undergoes when she is not clear of what interests here. Symptoms of poor motivation, high peer pressure, low self-awareness etc. may be evident in her personality. Similarly, consider a professional who is to choose one job offer from the two options he has. Firstly, if she approaches it rationally, final call can be taken post listing out pros and cons for each option and then chose the one that has higher no. of pros. Alternatively, we may have a situation where the professional is impulsive and opts to accept the job offer that assures ‘Certainty’ to any of the priorities he has defined for himself. For instance, more salary, dream company, better job profile, better designation, proximity to residence etc. In most cases some or the other bias exists that impacts our decision-making.  

Indecisiveness despite several disadvantages has several benefits while preparing us better for ‘Certainty’ in our lives. If it’s not chronic, since that’s a psychological disorder, it is good to be indecisive at times. There are several reasons for this:

1.      Multiple factors impact any decision and most of them are unknown to us. Such hidden factors are revealed usually with time unless we have a researcher’s approach.

2.      We do not control all the factors that influence our decision.

3.      We will have to define a pecking order of the factors for their relative impact on the decision to be taken.

4.      It prepares us better to face the risk associated with a decision since we have run through all possible scenarios in our imagination.