Suppose you muster up the courage to ask someone out for a date. You wait eagerly for the word of approval. Even a quick nod would work just fine. But, instead, you hear this response. “Let me think about it.”
How do you feel?
Well, you are a rational grown-up adult. You can think logically. Perhaps she/he does really want to think about it. You assure yourself. That makes sense. A person needs to think before she/he takes a course of action. Weighing the consequences of agreeing or not agreeing, seems like a wise thing to do,
You are also an optimist. She/he will think about it, and eventually the answer will be “yes.” After all, you were just asking for a date. The world will not change. The sun will rise from the east and set in the west, and the daily lives of people in our world will go on as before.
It is just a date, and you’re not a bad guy/gal, really. We can have fun.
Yet, perhaps your little world did change by a tiny bit.
Even if the final answer is “yes,” would you be ecstatic as you were before? Or, you may notice that a tiny portion of the passion you originally felt had been chipped away. The “magic” of that moment was lost, forever.
In the workplace, we are constantly bombarded by decisions. Our subordinates report courses of action that they want to proceed. Business partners send us e-mails to remind us to sign off on the contract so that the project can begin. Sales people call to let us know that orders are beginning to backlog, and it would be advisable to place the order sooner than later.
But as a person responsible for the business, you cannot make rash decisions. You need to weigh the consequences of the outcome of the decision. You need to gather information about the other projects in motion, and take into account other opinions regarding this particular project. You need to gauge if there are any conflicting interests.
So, you usually reply, “let me think about it.”
This is all logical. But, is it wise?
The risk is that the others cannot see that you are thinking about the welfare of the entire course of business. They just see that decision making is being postponed, for reasons that they don’t understand.