Managing Decision Fatigue in Leadership
Posted on December 02, 2021 by Sudhir R, One of Thousands of Leadership Coaches on Noomii.
A foray into what factors affect decision making
What is this?
In decision making and psychology , decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision making. It is now understood as one of the causes of irrational trade-offs in decision making. The subject has been researched a lot by eminent social psychologist Roy.F.Baumeister
Three common behavioral traits of decision fatigue are:-
Making Impulsive decisions .
Inability to make tradeoffs, procrastination and being indecisive.
Why it happens?
As per neuroscience Decision Fatigue arises due to the brains ability to look for short term goals rather than work its way through long term planning. The short term actions yield quick results, and maintains status-quo and is risk averse and this is the comfort zone we love to be in. We love to be tentative rather than to think futuristic, balancing rewards and risk. Physiologically decision fatigue can occur due to lack of sleep, rest or energy .
What are Five key aspects that could reduce decision fatigue?
5 key remedies to avoid decision fatigue:-
Delegate : One of the remarkable things, I have experienced in my tenure with the armed forces is the power of delegation . The delegation is inadequate if we do not give authorization. Transferring authority to functions in an organization enables solve decision fatigue.
Focus on quality: Focus on quality of decision making in the team or organization, and earmark people to take decisions .Too much quantity at the C suite ,or Top leadership is a recipe for not only decision fatigue but also employee fatigue resulting from wrong decisions.
Self Care : Being self aware as a leader makes us press the pause button to take logical decisions and this will happen only with self care and wellbeing, mentally and physically.
Standardize : One of the ways to declutter work at large and medium size organizations is to declutter work by standardizing procedures .This will result is responsibility and authority spreading over the organization as a whole rather than vesting with a group of elite decision makers.
Simplify: There could be many decisions avoided by reducing systemic processes ,and chains of hierarchy which may be futile and result in wastage of time and energy. Lean operations and management simplifies this and enables reduce decision fatigue.
Decision fatigue is key to organizational output, performance, employee engagement and reputation. Key decisions could affect organizational standing and also result in huge trade-offs in revenue and brand value.