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Tactic Number 2 ‘Imposing Incremental Information’

The young and inexperienced no-decision managers work many months just with three tactics to avoid decision-making. These are common to all no-decision managers without exception.

The second tactic is used after several requests by subordinates to make a decision and leads logically to no-decision managers asking their subordinates for additional information, necessary to make the decision. This I call ‘imposing incremental information.’

The request however is not used to make a decision, but quite the opposite; it is used to send the subordinate away so that no decision needs to be made while the work is going on. When the subordinate comes back with the information, the no-decision manager is quite likely to ask for more. All this is a tactic to avoid decision-making. They never use the information provided by the subordinate to take decisions, because by definition they never take decisions.

Normal managers

Normal managers, ones who take decisions, will inevitably resort to a similar request of subordinates. These managers use this additional information to help them make the decision, which they are analysing. No-decision managers do not.

Effect on subordinates

Subordinates will, at first, genuinely believe that their no-decision boss needs an excessive volume of information to make decisions. But as the information requested becomes more detailed, and to the subordinate unnecessary for the decision in question, they will again become frustrated and begin to wonder what is going on with their boss. They will not yet have realised that their boss is never going to decide anything.

But even these two tactics, ‘permanent procrastination’ and ‘imposing incremental information’ on their own, are still not viable or sustainable for no-decision managers, so they resort to other decision avoidance tactics. First, a number of simple ones, then gradually as they gain experience, more sophisticated ones.

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