6 Habits That Lead To Poor Decision Making

Categories: Career & Development
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
6 Habits That Lead To Poor Decision Making

In a leadership role, the ability to make effective decisions is essential to your success. There are many ways in which you can make a good decision, but it is not often that you are told what not to do. This article takes a look at the most common habits that lead to poor decision making, and explains why it is important to avoid them at all costs.

Not doing your research

A critical error made by many when it comes to poor decision making is making a misinformed decision. You must ensure that all possible research has been done, and that the situation has been considered from all angles. This is very important to the success of the decision and will impact future outcomes.

Rushing the process

When under pressure and tight deadlines, it is not uncommon for a poor decision to be made. As a result of the pressure, poor decision making occurs when the leader is irrational, and makes a decision to eliminate the issue. No matter how much stress you are under, you must be able to sit back and look at the situation with a rational perspective.

Not consulting subject matter experts

When you don’t know the answer to the problem, put your pride aside and consult someone who does. Often, egos get in the way in the workplace, and everyone wants to be seen as the problem solver. Recognise that everyone has common organisational success in mind, and consult others before making a misinformed and irrational decision.

Not forward thinking or planning

As a leader, the ability to foresee unexpected events and know how to react to them is very important. This therefore means that you should have a constant forward thinking mindset, and always be planning for the future. Poor decision making will occur if the future implications of a decision have not been considered, and possible contingencies are explored.


If you are an indecisive person who struggles to make a decision in the first place, poor decision making is likely to take place. Whilst indecisiveness can be viewed as positive as more time is spent analysing facts, overall it will not lead to effective decisions being made. Indecisive people should work on making confident judgments, and developing their decision making skills.

Poor communication

As in many roles, good communication skills are imperative for success. In this case, there must be efficient communication skills in both the team, as well as the decision maker themselves. If findings are not communicated properly, a good decision cannot be made. Similarly, if the leader is unable to convey their decision, employees will struggle to enforce it appropriately. Clear and honest communication is necessary at all times in the workplace.

What do you think?

It is clear that there are several habits which lead to poor decision making in the workplace – are you guilty of any of the above six? Alternatively, I’d love to hear if you believe there are others which should be added to the list. Leave a comment below and share your views.

This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.

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