Shoot from The Hip

Shoot from The Hip

Image: Roland Darby /

To shoot from the hip is an American saying from the days of the old wild west.

It has the basic meaning of taking immediate action and very fast just like the western gunslinger. It would indicate that not much thought has gone into the action and that the person has reacted almost by instinct or preconceived ideas.

Why Shoot from the hip?

There are times when we are caught off guard and a decision needs to be made really quickly. We fire off our decision in an instant of time without much thought. It can sometimes be essential that a decision is made quickly such as if a life threatening emergency arose. At other times we may just be pressured into making a decision that could be delayed to give time for more thought to be put into it. If we are not careful when we shoot from the hip we can make dreadful mistakes.

Shoot from the hip – avoid the dangers

To shoot from the hip can easily lead to bad decisions being made. What can you do to make sure that if you are faced with a problem that you make the right decision?

The first thing is to decide is to work out whether a really fast instant decision is required or can you buy out some time to consider it first.

If you realise that a quick decision is required you could draw on previous experience or that of any people that are around you that have the experience. It would be prudent to have a list of things in your head in preparation for such events. In other words prepare yourself for certain eventualities that may occur in your business just as people prepare for emergency procedures in the event of a fire. You will then be able to react fast and correctly rather than hoping you are right.

So be prepared and it will be safer when you have to shoot from the hip.


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