Indecision: the Worst Decision

To businesses, indecision is like an illness. Once it enters the system, it can slowly but surely tear down every defense mechanism until all that is left is a feeble, infirm structure (or lack thereof). If you allow it, indecision can ravage your business to its very demise. As frightening as it sounds, it is the harsh reality of running a company in an environment as competitive as the real estate and property management industry. However, just like most illnesses, there are steps you can take to cure the effects of indecision. Even better, you can implement methods into your workplace that prevent it all together.

Each day, every person makes countless decisions. In the turmoil of running a business, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the number of choices you have to make time and time again. Thus comes the unfortunate, seemingly inescapable roadblock of indecision.

One thing you need to know is that every decision you make for your business trickles down through the system and has long-lasting effects. A company is often only as good as its leader (and “leader” does not just apply to managers and CEO’s, but rather anybody with employees under him or her). This is because the culture of any work environment, whether it is in the office, at a property, or anywhere else, is determined and altered by the leaders. An indecisive culture, then, can be broken by a leader.

Dialogue’s Domino Effect
We have all been there: an employee concludes the presentation on his newest proposal, and the room proceeds to fall completely silent. Nobody makes a move to comment until the boss shows which way she is leaning. She asks a few questions, receives a few answers, and then her stance on the project is clear. Like a switch was flipped, suddenly everybody seems to have something positive to say.

Nobody brings up any concerns at the meeting. However, down the road, the project meets obstacle after obstacle until it is slowly smothered into oblivion. Someone else proposes their newest and brightest idea, and the cycle repeats itself.

How can you prevent this? You need to realize that when a situation like this occurs, it is because the people who need to be engaging with one another are not engaging. With a hierarchy comes intimidation; people feel that it may not be their place to make the first comment, and then because they want to be on the boss’ “good side,” they agree with whatever he or she says.

What you need to do is work to manifest trust and candor with your employees as well as between your employees. When they feel comfortable commenting their honest opinions and bringing up contradictory points, then you will surely see the magic happen. If there are factors that prevent the project from commencing, ask the employee presenting questions that guide him to a better idea. If his original idea is not plausible, help him make it plausible. Understanding how to implement effective, positive dialogue into your meetings will leave your employees feeling encouraged, energized, and excited for the work ahead.

How to Be a Good Role Model
When people look to you as a leader, you become more influential than you might think. Your employees look to you not only for direction and guidance but also encouragement and affirmation. Among many other tasks, it is your job to ensure that your employees feel comfortable and welcome in the workplace.

Manifesting trust and positive relationships throughout your company may seem to be a tremendous duty, but when you practice it regularly, it just becomes another routine that flows like water. Having a team of workers that can cooperate efficiently–and happily–makes a significant difference in the atmosphere of any office.

Another point to keep in mind is that your employees will do two things. One: oftentimes they will mirror the attitudes of their employers. If you are regularly strict and do not respond well to criticism, then your employees might be too nervous to provide any legitimate concerns. However, if you give and receive criticism openly, then your employees will most likely do the same. Two: they will give you the behavior you tolerate. It may be difficult to find a balance between openness and discipline, but once you do find it, your productivity will be better than ever before.

Closure Brings You Closer
One of the most effective methods for combating indecision is to practice closure at the end of every meeting. Sometimes you will have a meeting to discuss a project, and everybody will leave without a clear idea of what needs to be done and by when. When you do not give your team clear directions, it is easy to lose motivation and fall into a state of confusion.

Openness and trust creates a looser, more positive environment, but in such an environment you need to impose discipline, as aforementioned. As you complete each meeting, you should outline exactly what needs to be done by whom and by when. By doing so, you promote responsibility and accountability so that people know they have a job to do. Not only does closure boost morale, but it diminishes indecisiveness because your employees have a crystal clear picture of what they are supposed to do–and if they have any questions, they know they can come to you.

Fortify with Feedback
Following through after a project reaches completion is one of the most important parts of fending off indecision. When you fail to provide valid feedback to your employees, you allow them to repeat any mistakes they may have made during the process.

Giving an employee a performance review process is just that: a process. You both want to get it over with, so you speed through the “Good job” and the “Let’s do this again” so that you can both get to where you need to be. Not only do you want to get the review over with, but being blunt can just be plain uncomfortable. As painful as being brutally honest can be, though, it is necessary. Constructive criticism is one of the best ways you and your employees can improve. In all actuality, without any criticism from you, your employees might not be able to grow and develop to their maximum potential.

Turning an indecisive culture into a decisive culture is a project in and of itself. It will take time and effort, but the results are all worthwhile. The most important takeaway you can learn is that indecision is a decision. When you or your employees avoid a decision, you are choosing then and there to delay it or eventually allow others to choose for you. More often than not, that goes awry. As a leader, you need to learn to ask the right questions, model the best behavior, and give the best, most candid responses. When you find ways to implement decisiveness throughout every sector of your company, you could see changes you never thought possible.

Gita Faust

About the Author

Gita Faust has over 30 years of accounting experience in the real estate and property management industry, Gita Faust is more than just a real estate investor; she is also popular for her work as an accountant, consultant, mentor, speaker, QuickBooks Top ProAdvisor, QuickBooks Solution Provider, member of Intuit’s Trainer/Writer Network, and, of course, author. Gita is well-known for her exemplary leadership and advisory skills. In fact, she even helped pioneer the adaptation of QuickBooks to suit the needs of professionals in real estate and property management. To share her knowledge she has written a series of courses titled Simplified Accounting Solution, which provides step-by-step guidance for those working with QuickBooks.

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