5 Characteristics Of Decisive People

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.

Theodore Roosevelt

Being decisive is a highly sought-after skill. Who wouldn’t want to be able to make logical decisions, at the moment, without worry or fear of the consequences? The Dictionary definition of decisive is “settling an issue; producing a definite result.”

A decisive person understands that well-informed and timely decisions must be made and committed to. There is no room for wishy-washy decision-making in the world of a decisive person. 

Decisive people are always self-accountable for their actions. They take full responsibility for their efforts and commit to extending any recourse needed to complete or carry out their decision.

The research and report by Beilock, Sian & Carr, Thomas, “When High-Powered People Fail: Working Memory and Choking Under Pressure”, suggests that performance pressure harms individuals most qualified to succeed by consuming the working memory capacity that they rely on for their superior performance. 

This is why decisive people make a decision in the moment and move on. They do not then look back and question. Decisive people do not allow themselves to be overtaken by pressure. They alleviate the pressure before it even has a chance to manifest.

You may be wondering what specific characteristics are included in the mental make-up of a decisive person. The five elements listed below can be found in decisive people.

1.     Big Picture Thinking

Decisive people always have the big picture in mind. They do not get bogged down with insignificant or minor details. They know where they want the journey’s end to lead, and in their minds, it doesn’t matter what road they take to get there so long as they get there. If plan A fails, they move on to plan B and prepare C and D until their end goal is achieved. The decisive person only sees the light at the end of the tunnel; they don’t see the distance it takes to get there.

2.     Active Listener

Decisive people are active listeners. They listen to understand instead of listening to respond. According to Colorado State University Global, active listening is a conscious effort to hear, understand, and retain the information being relayed to you. This allows a person to be fully present in the conversation, digest new information, and process how to proceed forward. Decisive people remember that the human body has two ears and only one mouth. They not only listen more, they actively listen more.

3.     Lives in the Present

Decisive people live in the present as it relates to decision-making. They do not dwell in the past or idyll away thinking about the future. Instead, they hunker down at the moment and rely on the here and now to make decisions. They understand that the only decisions they can make are decisions based upon what is actively happening and not what did happen or what may happen.

4.     Continuously Learning

Decisive people are continuously learning. Why? They understand that to make the best calculated and worry-free decision; they need to broaden their knowledge base constantly. You never know what’s out there until you go and look. Decisive people seek out all facets of learning to grow their foundation.

5.     Risk Takers

Decisive people are risk takers. They don’t need to sit and dwell on the “What if’s” of a decision. They choose to make a decision and commit to it 100%. Even if that means jumping into the deep end, blinded with no life raft, they make the best decision regardless of what others perceive as a risk.

Decisive people demonstrate a sense of assertiveness, efficiency, and confidence. Once their mind is made up, there is no changing it. Decisive people have an innate ability to think about the bigger picture, practice active listening, live in the present, continuously open themselves up to learning, and take risks.