IDENTIFYING DECISION-MAKING STYLES
People have individual styles of taking decisions. Whether your style is logical or creative, your method should also be rational and straightforward. Good decision-makers do not allow personality to control the decision process or its outcome.
Using Hunch and Logic
One side of the brain is believed to be the location of emotion, imagination, and creativity; the other side is the site of logic, language, maths, and analysis. Though people tend to have a dominant side, this does not mean that decision-makers fall into two separate categories: the intuitive decision-maker deciding creatively and spontaneously, versus the logical decision-maker working rationally on the faced-based judgement. Whichever side your natural decision-making style leans towards, always aim to achieve a balance between both sets of faculties.
Risk-taking is not just for the intuitive – any decision with an uncertain outcome involves some element of risk, and even people who are totally logical in their thinking take risks. Much of the difference between the two methods of reaching a decision lies in the mental approach: intuitive thinkers back an option that they are convinced is a certainty, although it may seem to others to be a long shot, while logical thinkers calculate all the odds and only then make their decision to go for the best option. Either way, seek to minimize the degree of risk involved.
Whatever your decision-making style, there are advantages in being systematic. Systematic methods of reaching a decision ensure that all the correct issues are addressed: necessary information is gathered, all alternatives are properly considered and compared, difficulties are identified and feasibility assessed, and consequences are taken fully into account.
A systematic approach enables you to prepare a logical and effective plan of action so that your decision process can be explained clearly to any colleagues or clients who are affected.
People often repeat what has previously worked well. This can lead to very good performance since repetition improves effectiveness. At some point, however, needs may change, and a previously correct decision becomes wrong or less appropriate. The antidote is to approach your decision like a first-time choice. What would a newcomer decide? If, after putting yourself in this position, it feels wrong to follow precedent, it is probably time to innovate.
Points to Remember
The process of decision-making depends on having access to accurate, detailed information.
Systematic methods of reaching decisions can assist creativity.
All objections should be taken seriously when making a decision.
Taking a well-understood, the acceptable risk is preferable to taking unknown chances.
It is better to think systematically than to jump into conclusions.
Always try to balance an intuitive hunch with sound logical analysis.
Assess your decision-making abilities, and strive to improve them.
Avoid making decisions that have a large element of chance in them.
Follow a precedent when it works – but not when it does not.