Which path should I take? Which way can I go? It’s been so long since I haven’t been running, taking whatever path opened up before me, barrelling through and hoping it works out (most times ok, sometimes not).
I’ve stopped. I’m breathing. I’m reading and thinking and talking and churning. I’m considering my options. I’m learning again how to choose a way.
There are a number of paths in front of me and now, instead of racing along not thinking about where I’m headed, I have the chance to be deliberate. Old habits die hard, they say. I’m physically having to pull myself back from the snap decision.
We tell ourselves stories of how we work well under pressure, can multitask, deal with all comers. The temptation to haste is strong. Are fast decisions good ones? If I take my time will the decision I make be any better than the one made in a split second? What does the research say?
Recent research has shown that multitasking can result in 40% less productivity (like this) and so, it’s reasonable to extrapolate that making decisions on the run might have similar ineffectiveness. Interestingly there is research that supports the ‘on the run’ style (decision making styles) for some instances. There are other styles though that may suit my purposes more. It’s an interesting read, and helps me think about my own strengths and weaknesses.
I’ve probably worked more at the intuition end of the spectrum. That’s what you start to rely on when you’re barrelling ahead. I need to weigh things up more, look at all the options, try to extrapolate the outcomes.
And when I make the decision I have to remember to step back, build a story to take people with me. In the end it’s not just my decision. Others have to be part of it too. It is, I think, a more mature approach and a more considered way of collaborating with people. My intuition is usually a pretty good guesser but I’ve entered a space that needs more proof than ‘I just know’. I’ve entered the space of a leader and the seat-of-the-pants is not the place from which to lead a strong team.