Effective decision making is a skill that takes trial and error, strategic thinking, and confidence to master. Developing decision making skills in your employees is critical for efficient operations and leadership advancement. Foster this conversation with our free decision making webinars that can help you and your employees understand leadership styles, identify roadblocks, and map out pathways to driving consensus.
Decision making tendencies are typically broken down into four types. Coming from a place of self-awareness, employees who understand their decision making type will then be able to identify the four most effective strategies to help them make decisions accordingly—and work with others to do the same.
This type of decision-maker prefers structure and predictability, motivated by the results their decision will bring. This is a “think-quickly-and-move-on” type of mentality that relies on models, past example, case studies, and rules to determine the best approach. It’s an action-over-deliberation approach that results in quick thinking and short-term results—yet it doesn’t leave much room open for advice, feedback, alternative ideas, or perspectives.
Like directive decision makers, behavioral decision makers prefer structure and precedent when it comes to deciding. The key difference here is that they are not motivated by results but by harmony. To a behavioral decision maker, relationships matter most. The opinions of friends, colleagues, and teammates must be considered before coming to a decision. This is a very effective approach to team problem-solving, as the behavioral decision maker will go out of their way to make sure everyone is included and valued. Without a voice of leadership or authority, however, this strategy can make it difficult to manage conflict and disagreement.
Conceptual decision makers enjoy the ambiguity of the unknown, and delight in the possibilities presented by problems. These people tend to be creative and likely to think longer-term, employing innovative approaches and taking higher risks. While a directive decision maker is more apt to come to a quick solution, a conceptual decision maker is more apt to ruminate on different ways to approach the problem. While this may result in more interesting, innovative ideas, it’s not always the most efficient option—especially if the issue must be solved expediently.
Analytical decision makers, like conceptual decision makers, feel comfortable with the ambiguity presented by a problem. But they are motivated to find the best, most comprehensive solution. They’re not looking for creative, fascinating approaches but rather fully informed ideas, supported by objective facts, figures, and hard data. If you’re an analytical decision maker (or if you know that you’re working with one), you’ll want to make a clear, completely thought out case based on empirical evidence.
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