CAREER ADVANCEMENT / JUL. 10, 2015
version 6, draft 6

Decision Making Styles to Consider

Everyone makes decisions on a daily basis. Some of the decisions are not of great significance, such as ‘Which shirt will I wear today?’ However, some decisions we make end up having a long-term effect on our lives. In addition, they could also affect other people around us. If you are a parent for example, your decisions are likely to affect your children. If you own a business, your decisions will impact your employees and other stakeholders. Therefore, whenever you need to make a decision, it is very important to choose a decision making style which is appropriate for the situation at hand.

See Also: How to Speed Up Your Decision Making Process

Here are some of the decision making styles you need to consider:

1. Analytic style

People who use this style of decision making are very innovative. They take time to study and analyze a lot of information before making a decision. Analytic decision makers are very flexible and find it easy to fit in difficult or unique situations. However, the process of collecting and analyzing all the data can be very time consuming. This style of decision making is therefore unsuitable for situations where a decision needs to be made fast.

2. Conceptual style

This style of decision making involves approaching problems from a creative angle. Conceptual style decision makers are therefore very artistic and tend to think outside the box. When making crucial decisions, they don’t focus on the immediate or the long term. Such people are more likely to take risks when making decisions.

3. Directive style

People who use this decision making style are very aggressive. They quickly evaluate a situation, make a decision, and require their subordinates to act immediately. Directive style decision makers rarely consult others and they tend to depend on their experience, judgment and knowledge. The good thing about such decision makers is that they are good communicators and usually follow laid down regulations. However, the downside is that they rush into making decisions without getting all the facts. This decision making style is more suitable for short term solutions rather than long term results.

4. Behavioral style

Behavioral style decision makers are concerned about avoiding conflict and having favorable relations with everyone. They are very skilled in getting people to agree with their point of view. Such people work well in groups. Behavioral style decision makers have a knack for resolving disputes and coming up with a decision which is favorable for all parties involved.

5. Autocratic group decision making style

In this decision making style, the leader takes total responsibility for the decision. Whether the result is negative or positive, the leader takes complete responsibility. An autocratic leader makes decisions using their own interpretation of the situation. They usually don’t ask for ideas or contributions from their team members. This style is suitable for emergency situations when decisions need to be made fast. However, it can demoralize team members who were not included in the decision making process.

6. Democratic group decision making style

In this style of decision making, the leader allows the group to vote, thus surrendering control of a decision. The action taken is determined by the majority vote. This style is appropriate for decisions where group participation would produce desirable results. However, the downside of the democratic group decision making style is that no one might be willing to take responsibility for the outcome of the decision.

See Also: How to Make Your Toughest Decisions

Different situations call for different decision making styles. Therefore, take time to analyze every situation first before deciding which style to apply.

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