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The difference between second guessing and re-evaluating

The difference between second guessing and re-evaluating The difference between second guessing and re-evaluating
Source: Henrietta Harris via Ignant
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(...) to help narrow this down, I therefore want to use other words and distinguish between “second guessing” and “re-evaluating.” The former is questioning a decision without material new information. The latter is revisiting a decision after material new information has been obtained. It is second guessing which is destructive for morale, because it calls into question not just the decision but also undermines the legitimacy of the decision making process itself. A a leader you should keep any second guessing strictly to yourself.

Re-evaluating on the other hand is healthy but requires a good decision making process. In particular, there has to be a relatively clear way of assessing whether something is in fact material new information. There is a famous quote, often attributed to Keynes: when the facts change, I change my opinion – what do you do? If you have a good process for making decisions then it will be quite clear whether something is a material new fact and the team will be able to be quite dispassionate about re-evaluating the decision.

So as a good exercise, next time you feel doubt about a decision, ask yourself if you are second guessing or if you are re-evaluating. And if you find yourself second guessing a lot, then it likely says something about problems with the decision making process (and potentially about your own fears).

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Source : Uncertainty Wednesday: Leadership under Uncertainty, December 12, 2018, continuations.com

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