Over-processing your decisions

Alternate title: When to shut up and make a decision.

We like talking. When a relationship, decision, or circumstance is tricky, we talk about it. Talking about it helps us get it out.

However, this creates two kinds of trouble. The first is that we talk too much and do too little. That’s easy to spot.

The second is harder. Sometimes we process so much the solution becomes less clear.

If you have seen The Great British Baking Show while folding laundry, you’ve heard them talk about bread that’s overproved or ‘stodgy’. 

Paul Hollywood is not pleased

Skilled bakers know that how long you mix the dough depends on what kind of flour you’re using. French bread needs to be worked. Biscuits need to be left alone. Waffle mix should be lumpy. Crepe mix should be smooth.

You may be over-mixing a decision.

Here’s how you know:

  • You’re repeating the same story, without getting new information.
  • It’s not as hard intellectually as it is emotionally.
  • You tell yourself your asking for buy-in, when you’re really looking for validation.
  • You’re hiding behind a nuance.
  • You want credit, because it’s easier than taking action.

When you over-mix dough, it goes from being sort of silky to being sticky. It starts to feel like glue. When you talk about decisions for too long, they get sticky too. It may be best to leave the decision alone. Let it, as you would biscuit dough, rest.

Leaders know what kind of flour they’re working with, and how long to process before they pull the trigger.

My guess is, more often than not, it’s over-proved.

My advice: either pull the trigger or leave the decision alone. Let it rest a bit, then come back and work with it a little.

Comments are closed.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: