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How to identify decision making styles

There are a number of different decision making styles, and each one has its pros and cons. The method you use to make decisions can have an overall outcome on the problem or issue at had, yet there is no right or wrong method of arriving to a decision.

It can be helpful as a manager to know the decision making styles of your employees. The following are the most common decision making styles:

Pros and Cons
People who use the pros and cons method of decision making take a more systematic approach to the issue, deliberately weighing the positive and negative aspects of each decision. They may make lists and columns and write everything out. This type of decision making style is useful because while it is not the quickest approach to coming to a decision, it can help you to see what the projected outcome could be in the long run.

Those who rely on their own intuition to make a decision are using the intuitive decision making style. These people are spontaneous and choose solutions by whatever feels right at the moment. This method involves some trial and error; if you find your instincts and intuition are generally off-base, you may need to alter your approach a little.

Those who talk through their decision making process with other people are verbal decision makers. This type of approach takes the opinions and concerns of other people involved into account. While ultimately the decision itself is up to the decision maker, people who utilize the verbal decision making style find it helpful to draw on the experiences and opinions of others, as well as bouncing ideas off of other people. If you are a manager who relies on verbal decision making, be careful to make the final decision yourself; don't let others make it for you.
Essentially the opposite of a verbal decision maker, people who think different outcomes and scenarios out themselves instead of going to others are referred to as internal decision makers. They rely on their own knowledge and experience to make a decision.

Planned procrastination
The planned procrastination style of decision making involves thinking over possible outcomes and final decisions for an extended period of time before actually committing on a decision. This can take a few hours or a few months, depending on the gravity of the choice. This method can be smart, especially when an important decision hangs in the balance, because it is more thorough to think things through and gather the necessary information before making an informed decision. It's also important not to actual procrastinate; there's a difference between planned procrastination so you can gather information and procrastination just because you don't feel like making the decision now.

Hypothesis testing
People who use the hypothesis testing approach make a cautious hypothesis about a certain decision, and the go about proving or disproving their own hypothesis. Often this method of decision-making combines other methods; they may use the verbal style to get the opinions of others, and then pro and con to test out their hypothesis. This decision making style should be used carefully and sparingly, as you may be viewed as inconsistent for changing your mind often.

These are just a few methods of the different decision making styles. There is no right or wrong way; many people use a combination of all different methods, depending on the circumstances.

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