There are many different types of decision-making styles and processes for one to choose from. To have the ability to make proper decisions one needs to understanding their own natural tendencies and the processes involved in the choices made while having the knowledge of other decision-making tools better which may be better suited to the situation at hand.
The rational decision maker follows these procedural steps:
- Identify the problem
- Generate multiple possible solutions for the problem
- Select the solution deemed most likely to solve the problem
- Implement the solution and evaluate its effectiveness
The four primary styles of decision-making are:
This form of decision-making relies on a rational and autocratic style that results in the employee using his own knowledge, experience and judgment to choose the best alternative. This type of leader is very rational, but thinks mostly about the short-term.
Analytical or Empirical
This form prefers to use direct observations, facts, and data to determine the best outcome.
This form is more concerned with long-term results, brainstorming of alternatives, creative approaches to problem solving and taking higher risks.
This form is very interested in making sure that everyone works well together and avoids conflict. They are very persuasive talkers and are good at getting people to see things their way.
For more information read Jill Liphart’s article, Decision Making Styles: How Do You Decide?
Why we make poor decisions
- Feeling overwhelmed, doubtful, uncertain, or confused about:
- the lack of choices
- too many choices
- possible outcomes
- who may be affected
- how others may view your choices
- Internal an external pressure
- Fear of making an impulsive decision
- Fear of repercussions (job, position, respect, or future promotions)
All of these factors can cause you to delay the decision-making process which can have serious repercussions such as leaving the team in an unproductive cycle which can ripple downward affecting how the entire team is viewed by outsiders and management.
The Decision Tree
Wikipedia defines the Decision Tree as a decision support tool that uses a tree-like graph or model of decisions and their possible consequences, including chance event outcomes, resource costs, and utility.
To make effective decisions one should use the proper tools to determine the best course of action making it possible for others to make an informed decision. One way to demonstrate the possible outcome of a possible choice or decision is to use the Decision Tree. This visual representation of cause and effect shows team members and management what the likely scenarios, problems, successes, and setbacks could be should that decision be made. It’s always good to set a personal best practice to be transparent and inclusive with such things as it demonstrates your personal thought processes and brand.
Questions to ask yourself as you’re working on your Decision Tree:
- What is the decision?
- What are the components of the decision?
- How complex is the decision?
- What will affect your decision?
- Is anyone else involved in the decision-making process?
- What are the possible solutions?
- What are the possible side effects?
- What are the possible consequences?
- What is the ideal result?
Find out what your decision-making style is with this FREE Quiz
Group Decision Making
- Consensus Style
- Democratic Style
- Dictatorial Style
- Group Consultative + Disagree and Commit Contract