When we consider decisions, it would be easy to assume there is simply one way this is done. It is not immediately obvious that there are different types of decisions making. But when you stop and consider it we don’t always make decision in the same way. We might go with gut instinct, conduct masses of research, use logic, ask others or even just make a completely random choice.
How you make decisions is important. Without decisions we can’t progress! Being able to make confident decision is one of the best skills you can learn. There are specific tools you can use to assist you. These include; creating at pro and con lists or conducting research. But in the end it will really boil down to personal subjectivity.
Types of decision making
We’ve all done this. Presented with options and information we form an immediate impression and go with whichever way our brain has instinctively decided. Initially this may seem like a fairly foolish way to make decisions. But that really isn’t giving our brains the credit they deserve. Our brains are designed to make snap decisions and they are incredible good at taking in all the available information, processing it and using experience and instinct to choose which way to go.
Input from others
If you’re ever asked for the opinion of others before making a decision then you will understand this type of decision making. Even when everything is pointing in a clear direction, this type of decision maker cannot resist asking for the input of others. They actively seek out alternative opinions and perspective and want feedback from as many different people as possible.
This doesn’t mean the decision is made by others. But their thoughts and insights are factored into the process. Essentially this is most successful when the decision maker identifies appropriate people to ask. Those who have experience, direct involvement, particular skill sets or have another relevant insight to offer, can all provide valuable information.
This type of decision is made carefully and meticulously. By considering all the available information and continuing to draw from as much new information as they can find. This decision maker will explore every possible avenue before making a final decision. Usefully, this can often uncover previously unknown nuggets of information. Whilst also acknowledging more than one way of deciding the right and wrong way to go.
Pros and cons
Similarly to research, this type of decision making will pull together lots of information. But this decision is rooted in going back and forth. By considering very carefully how the decision could be positive or negative, eventually the decision maker will be able to see how one way outweighs another.
Eventually a decision needs to be made and often, even with all the research, advice and pro and cons a decision may not be clear and you simply have to flip a coin.
It is likely that you have made all of these types of decisions. You may find yourself identifying with some more than others. But the more aware you are of the different processes the most likely you are to be open about exploring different types for different situations. This will ultimately improve your decision making ability.
Engage in Learning provide Decision Making Pathway courses which will help you develop creative thinking and problem solving skills. The Decision Making: Options to Implementation course help you learn how to achieve success by evaluating decisions using consistent criteria.