Having exhausted the simple physical tactics of decision-avoidance, no-decision managers turn to more devious psychological ones. The first in this series I call the ‘artificial agreement,’ where no-decision managers announce that they agree with their subordinate.
The second variation of these artificial agreements is a ‘vaguely agree’ response to the request for a decision, which comes in the form of statements like:
‘I need more time to think’,
‘I agree with your proposal but we must be careful’, or
‘I agree but we must not rush the decision’,
or any other suitably vague excuse to avoid a commitment to act. Time is not specified. ‘Careful’ is not defined. ‘A rush’ is not detailed. The objective is to divert the conversation away from the potential decision to gain more time not to decide.
Normal managers who say they need more time, who want to be careful, or who do not want to rush will mean what they say. After a while they will decide. No-decision managers on the other hand are just searching for moments when their subordinates do not remind them to make decisions, an excuse not to decide. They are never going to decide.
Effect on subordinates
Although there is now a positive dialogue concerning a decision, subordinates soon realise that this variation is just another tactic to delay decision-making and more waiting continues to generate disappointment and frustration.