Do you work with someone who is a ‘Staller’ and suffers from Analysis Paralysis? They gather more and more information and then seem unable to make a decision.

Chris passed by Mary’s office. She was again buried in a pile of paperwork, scowling at the information in front of her. Chris knew Mary had been struggling for some time. She was always behind in her work and seemed to take forever to get anything going. Her in-tray was piled high with small tasks that were just not done. Stuff was getting lost and things were escalating unnecessarily because Mary was not responding in a timely manner. Her need to make the right decision meant she was not making any decisions at all.

Chris could send Mary on a delegation skills course to help her free up her time… Or a business analysis program… But that would be treating the symptom – the outward observable behaviour – and not the cause  – Mary’s inner intention.

Mary probably knows ‘how’ to do delegate and analyse, but something is getting in her way. Sending her on a program to acquire new skills would be a poor investment.

Causes of Mary’s behaviour could include:

  • Fear of getting it wrong
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Being uncomfortable with ambiguity
  • Overly strong preference for reflection
  • High need for detail
  • Lack of clear objectives

To develop a leader who suffers from Analysis Paralysis, it’s important to first decode the cause and understand the real intention behind the behaviour, before a pathway forward can be developed.

Outsourcing leadership development can be an expensive trap with a poor ROI. When leaders effectively develop their direct reports, on the job in real time, the brakes on performance are released.

Where might you be responding to the outward observable behaviours at the expense of the inner intentions? What conversations could you have to address this balance? Join the conversation here.


Have an Extraordinary day.


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