Sheena Iyengar is what some would call a “choice expert”. In a recent study, she presented two groups with various choices of jam. Group A was given 6 different jams to try from, while Group B was given 24 different jams. Turns out that Group B thoroughly enjoyed having choices, but Group A was 10 times more likely to actually make a purchase.
Those new to leadership can harness this phenomenon to make better choices, become more efficient and therefor more productive in their current capacity as a leader. Whenever I was first placed in supervisory roles, I wanted to be a team player and so I would listen to every possible solution under the sun. As a result, I was often overwhelmed by the volume of opinions and found it difficult to whittle the pile down to one decision that was fair and in the best interest of my team as a whole.
The better path to take lies at the heart of Sheena’s research. Rather than approaching the masses for their opinion, preselect a handful of solutions based on your experience and expertise on the matter. By doing so, you limit the scope of the project that you are working on and are more likely to keep on track with the project. Furthermore, you have still included the team on the decision making process.
Found via Give People Less Choice