When you have a hard time Choosing, do you know Why?

When there are choices you cannot decide between, do you think about why the choice is hard for you?

If you do think about it more intently, do you push yourself harder,
making decisions about what you should learn (about those reasons
choosing wasn’t quicker and easier for you)?

I bring this up thinking about a loooong discussion my husband and I had about
Super Tuesday the other night, and about our take on some of the news
commentary we watched about the US Presidential nomination process. We
mostly watched CBS, and we kept hearing so much about how voters
procrastinated, and made last minute decisions about the candidates.
You really have to wonder how informed versus impulsive so many of our
decisions are, and how often we’ll wing it anyway instead of getting
better informed first, or opting out of the process altogether.

The political arena is just one place this happens though, isn’t it
(though it is one that can be particularly painful to think about…).

When I do my Weekly Review this coming week’s end, I think I’ll try
rating the different decisions I made during the week, assessing which
were informed versus impulsive (and probably impatient) for me…
however I also think it would be a good self-discipline to get into
asking myself that "why is it so hard for me to choose?" question more

Here’s a quick choice you can make between yes and no:

Feel like talking story about it?

Now, (you probably knew this was coming…) if not with me, or with the rest of the Ho‘ohana Community here, think about talking story – or at least trying to pick up on these "hard choice" clues more while you are at work. When people have a hard time making choices between options in the decisions they are making, figure out why.

A quick checklist might be this old but time-proven stand-by:

  • Do they have enough knowledge about it? Or, do they at least know how to access the info and knowledge they need?
  • Do they have the skill to deal with the options and all connected variables? (Back to voting for a moment, this one makes me think about all the difficulties with electronic voting machines in the last election).
  • Do they have the natural talent and inclination for an activity connected to it (i.e. would the follow-through be in an area of their strengths or weaknesses)?
  • Are they engaged in the whole process, or could they care less, and does it frankly bore them to tears?

And here is the clincher (you knew this was coming too…): What are you, the manager intent on optimizing their ho‘ohana with?

Oh come on, Let’s Talk Story. Managers, where are you? Would you write for us?


  1. A related posting on Managing with Aloha Coaching is this one: The power of questioning: Ask “Why?” Five Times.
  2. Little target exercises like the one I mentioned above is how I keep my Weekly Review interesting to me so I keep doing it! Here is the low-down: Learn a 5-Step Weekly Review: You’ll love it.
  3. Other “” postings.

Flickr photo credit: Savage walk: don’t ask, just go by Earl – What I Saw 2.0


  1. says

    Rosa – this is such a pivotal topic – and one that most of us face on a regular basis – some decisions are just hard to make. I’d like to add one more reason to your checklist: How much does concern for others’ reactions influence the difficulty in making a decision? That seems to be a factor for me more times than I care to admit!

  2. says

    Good add Deb, thank you. And an entirely human consideration. All decisions can have multiple variables, however I think the one you mention helps us with the focus on how a manager can help – i.e. how they need to empathize with their people who struggle with more emotional choices. Mahalo!

  3. says

    Your Compensated-for Weakness: Now Look Inside

    What weaknesses do you feel you have? How have you learned to compensate for them? Is there any chance your compensation has been limiting you? Choose just one weakness, and see if your experience is at all similar to one