Fridge choice overwhelm issue

In business communication avoid fridge choice overwhelm

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by too many choices?

Have you ever watched a child stand in front of a fridge full of cold drinks, mouth agape, overwhelmed by the choices in front of them? This is choice overwhelm.

Many of us have problems in making important decisions in our lives. We often struggle with simple choices too, if faced with too many options. We may be afraid we will make the “wrong” decision, that we don’t have enough information, and sometimes we wait for others to make the decision first – in case their choice is better. The “grass is greener” conundrum.

As available options increase, the number of decisions may cause choice overload, and choice overwhelm sets in. The fear of making the wrong choice leads us to feel less satisfied with the decisions we make. When our decisions have disappointing results we tend to blame ourselves. We feel with so many options available, poor results must be our own fault. No matter what choice we make, a new and better option may be right around the corner so often we end up avoiding making a choice at all. Sheena Lyengar and Mark Lepper of Stanford University found that as options increase among varieties of gourmet jam, chocolates or retirement funds (401(k) plans) people are less likely to pick any of them.

choice overwhelm

A simple solution with children, and adults, staring at an open supermarket fridge (or 401 (k) options) is to limit their choice. Tell the child they can have a coke, a sprite or a water (for example). They can then either pick amongst the choices offered, or something they particularly want (e.g. Cream Soda). Either way it limits the “deer in headlights” choice paralysis.

For tips on how to avoid communication overwhelm in your presentations read this article on avoiding data overload.

If you want to learn how to create One Clear Message in choices, communication and avoiding choice overwhelm then contact us today!

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Richard Riche

Change Communication and Employee Engagement specialist at One Clear Message Consulting
Richard specialises in helping you build real human communication skills. Employee Engagement / Experience, Emotional Intelligence skills, building high performance teams and a great place you want to work. TED style speaking and presentation skills. Training, consulting and coaching.
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