You’ll never have all the information you need to make a decision.  If you did, it would be a foregone conclusion, not a decision.
– David Mahoney, Jr.

How skilled do you feel you are at decision making? Some have no issues, but others find it challenging and even stressful, especially when the decision must be made “under fire”. 

Those that are effective decision makers generally:

  • Make decisions based on analysis, knowledge, and experience
  • Avoid letting emotions impact their decision
  • Take into account deadlines, obtain as many details as possible, and are not afraid to make a decision based on what they know
  • Solicit others for advice and ideas when they question if they are making sound decisions
  • Understand that mistakes may happen!

Personal styles and preferences are also a factor. Many of us are familiar with Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and our type impacts our Decision Making Preferences. Here’s a recap of the 1st (E vs I) and 4th (J vs P) indicators:

Type E (Extraversion) are more likely to:
Want to talk it through first
Respond in an energetic way
Start with external data
Crave breadth
Consider impact on environment first
Share thoughts and feelings freely

Type I (Introversion) are more likely to:
Want to think it through first
Respond in a measured way
Start with internal data
Crave depth
Consider impact on self first
Share thoughts and feelings carefully

Type J (Judging) are more likely to:
Want a decision now
Expect to make progress
Invite closure
Demonstrate commitment to the agreed upon solution
Feel discomfort until a decision is made
Desire certainty

Type P (Perceiving) are more likely to:
Want to postpone making a decision
Expect time to process
Invite new information
Stay open to changing the solution
Feel discomfort rejecting decision options
Desire flexibility

If your “gut” is telling you something just does not feel right with your decision, take a few hours or even a day or two to re-think it.  Rarely does a decision need to be made NOW. If it does, then re-assess what’s known (facts, impacts, historicals), and trust yourself to make the best decision you can. Don’t be afraid to ask others for their input!

Our decisions may not always be perfect and additional information may come to light, but we can commit to conducting due diligence allowing us to make the best decision at that time.

What’s your comfort level with decision making? Do you think your “type” preference is a factor?

Checking the results of a decision against its expectations shows executives what their strengths are, where they need to improve, and where they lack knowledge or information.–Peter Drucker