Functional Impulsivity-Do You Need To Stop & Think, Even if it Feels Right?

Keywords – Functional Impulsivity

What is your decision making process in a business?

Hopefully, your answer is “it depends”, rather than a straight uttering of applying the same rule every time.

Apart from the tendency of humans to make decisions for the sake of making decisions even when the right information is not available, commonly known as dysfunctional impulsivity, we tend to make some wrong decisions with the right information put in front of us too. (I will cover dysfunctional impulsivity in another blog).

The case of making wrong decisions with the right information is called functional impulsivity (FI).

Functional Impulsivity

In other words, functional impulsivity is the act of making the wrong decisions when the conditions are deemed optimal. (Stay with me here).

Functional impulsivity in itself is characterised by the results.

If the results you achieve, even though, apparently, you took the right decision at the time, was not a success, the decision is still marked as wrong. (It is harsh. But, it is the truth of human life, especially in business conditions).

Fine Line of Leadership

There is a fine line between acting as a leader and making decisions, and making decisions as a point of pride. FI is generally associated with the latter.

And, without context, and most of the time until the results are out, it is difficult to measure the success of a decision.

And, if you are thinking that the idea of FI is challenging to grasp, keep in mind that it was noticed by scientists after dysfunctional impulsivity. This means that people, at some point, realised that the results are not necessarily positive even when decisions are taken under perceived optimal conditions.

Let me make it simpler for you.

Indicators of Possible Functional Impulsivity

Have you ever heard a person say – “I like these personal conversations. I do not have to think while I speak”. You can be guaranteed that at some point a slip up is going to happen. The person may not have bad intentions. But, the choice of words is a tricky business and needs to be taken care of.

Similarly, if you hear someone say – “I am good at pouncing on opportunities”. They are going to mess up at some point because hasty decisions, even when they feel right, can come back to bite you. We talk further about this here, connecting it with economic downfalls.

In regular conversations, this kind of behaviour may be deemed positive. And, that makes the failure at the end surprising for humans to grasp.

But, do not worry about this behaviour.

Fixing Decision Making Behaviour

First step in rectifying a potential problem is developing the consciousness of it.

And, now that we have hinted towards a potential problem, hopefully you will hold back on impulsive decisions. You need to learn to take your personal emotions out of the picture and think for your team. And, you will never go wrong (hopefully).

To discuss business psychology further, and to find out how we can help your business, get in touch with us today.

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