The indecisive boss is a type of bad boss. Although this "bad boss" may be nice, friendly and easy to get along with, he or she may drive you crazy and make it difficult for you to do your job. A manager or supervisor who cannot make a decision is really in the wrong position. Aren't bosses supposed to be the ones that make decisions after all?
Indecisive people are afraid of the consequences of their decisions. They are afraid of making a mistake or being wrong. There is nothing wrong with a little caution, but there is a point in which decisions have to be made or not making one has negative consequences.
The entire team suffers when the boss cannot make a decision. Employees begin to speculate and gossip. Alot of time and energy is wasted while staff awaits a decision and wild rumors cause further damage. In the end, the manager or supervisor who cannot make a decision loses the respect of his or her staff and co-workers.
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Instead of waiting for an indecisive boss to make the call, you should enable him or her to overcome that weakness. Some proven methods:
Define Before Deciding
Instead of seeking a decision, involve the indecisive leader in defining the problem. Einstein once said: “When I have one week to solve a seemingly impossible problem, I spend six days defining the problem. Then the solution becomes obvious.” One sure way to get closer to a decision is to ask a lot of questions. That will open new windows of information, and your manager will become more comfortable about making a decision
Force The First Step
Big decisions can be broken down into small ones. Psychologist Gary Klein studied decision making by firefighters and medical personnel, who usually don’t have time to weigh all the pros and cons before acting. He concluded that they try one option at a time until they find a solution that works. They improve their decision-making skills by gaining expertise, so their first option isn’t random; it’s the one most likely to work. In like fashion, all you need is for your manager to make one small decision that enables you to take the first step; then the next one, and so on.
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Tackle it Right Away
If your boss doesn’t change their ways, then it might be that they can’t see the negative effect their indecisiveness is having on the team. They might be your supervisor, but they are also human, and they can miss things. So, if you have already tried all the subtle approaches to deal with their indecisiveness without a positive result, then it might be worth arranging a meeting so you can discuss your concerns and frustrations.
But be careful - avoid starting with accusations or finger pointing - no one ever responds well to hostility. Focus on what you need from your manager and how their indecisiveness affects your work, but make sure to emphasize that you need to do that to move forward and be more productive as a team.
Maintain Your Reputation
Sometimes, no matter what you do, an indecisive manager will remain indecisive; remember you can’t always control everything, right?
If your manager is the reason a project keeps getting stuck, remember you can’t do anything else, and your boss will have to figure out a way to move past that point. So, if you want to make sure that you are covered, make sure to document how you are trying to make decisions for the team and move them forward.
But remember, even though you can’t control your boss’s indecisiveness, you are not powerless. You could let the management or organization know about your efforts (not your boss’s inabilities, focus on you now) so when an unfinished project comes to light, they will know that you did your best.