How Do You Make Decisions?

One of things I’ve come to realize about myself is I can make decisions quickly.

I don’t need to think about things for days on end… and when in a crisis mode, or a situation that requires an immediate action, I have no problem stepping forward.

This quick decision making, I’d like to think, has served me well most of the time.

But, with this said, I’m pretty confident a more conservative approach to decision making would have probably been wise from time to time. This is why I am so happy to have two business partners who keep me in check!

What About You?

So, I’m curious. How do you go about making decisions?

Are you the type of person who quickly assesses the situation and ‘makes a call’ or are you the type of person who likes to take their time assessing the situation, weigh all the options, and then make the call?

Or do you fall somewhere in between? Or, perhaps, you stink at making decisions altogether and rely on others to make the call. Is this you?

I’d really like to hear your thoughts.

8 Comments

  1. Alan Shephard

    June 7, 2009 - 12:24 pm

    I struggle to make decisions quickly. Sometimes this is good but many times I battle analysis paralysis and I know this is not good. I’ve found that the best decisions I make involve others *helping* me with the decision.

  2. TJBraun

    June 8, 2009 - 6:12 am

    My Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, MBTI, tells me that I’m highly correlated to a NT (Intuitive Thinker). This is true and I do need adequate time to reach a decision, but not to the point of lingering pronastication on the decision.

    http://www.capt.org/mbti-assessment/type-descriptions.htm

    I too find the best decisions are made with the support of others. i.e. colleagues, spouse, etc.

  3. Scott

    June 8, 2009 - 8:00 am

    Stop When Unsure – Why?
    When you are unsure or confused as to what should occur or what you should do next you have the highest chance of making an error.
    If you have a knowledge gap condition and there are a number of options, you increase the chance of making an incorrect decision.
    Guessing puts you, your peers, the business, and the customer at risk.
    Stop When Unsure – When?
    At all times – if you feel you have a knowledge gap, verify with another knowledgeable person to get the needed expertise to ensure all the process steps are followed and that the correct results are achieved.
    Stop When Unsure – How?
    Know the critical elements of the process.
    Get other points of view.
    Be open to question from others.
    Do not hesitate to question a team members actions.
    Do not hesitate to communicate to your supervisor/leader.
    Stop When Unsure – Now!
    Stop the activity.
    Place the equipment or process in a safe condition.
    Notify your supervisor or shop lead.
    Get help to eliminate the source of your concerns.

  4. Eli Lopian

    June 9, 2009 - 7:32 am

    There are 2 steps in making decisions:
    1. Gather information
    2. Pick your choice.
    I have a post on how to speed up your decision making without compromising

  5. Observer

    June 9, 2009 - 11:35 pm

    I know what I know well and what I do not know as well. When I know, I take decisions fast. Where I do not know, I take time. Data based decisions are easier to take after some analysis. Gut feeling based decisions require fair amount of deliberation and gut feeling inputs from others I trust as well. There may be situations where I know better, but still hesitate. That is due to lack of knowledge that I have the better gut feel or knowledge on the subject than others. I may not have validated my knowledge in this area.

    In personal / family matters, I have disagreements on some subjects with my wife. There are subjects where I would leave it to her after expressing my feelings and reasons. I try to leave as much as possible to her. Once I leave it, I do not harp on the same, whatever the outcome. I expect to left to my choice of decisions likewise on certain other subjects.

    In office decisions, I find that taking decisions is one part and selling the decision is another part. We do take decisions without data, in the interest of speed. But when the stakes are higher, after taking a subjective decision, I always like to reinforce this area for more systematic / structured / data based decisions at the next occasion. I have now retired. As i advanced towards this phase, I have been more and more tolerant of others decisions that has not been in alignment with mine. I would use all the reasoning I can muster, but leave it to them in all cases where I have deligated execution oversight to them. In my last years my role has been one of making long term plans, assigning appropriate resources, assessing performance and giving feedback.

    I have worked in areas where compliance is required. I have always asked my team to not only to strive to take the right decisions, but also record any leaps of faith after obtaining multiple member’s inputs.

  6. carlos

    June 19, 2009 - 2:30 pm

    The three rules I use when making decisions are:
    Use common sense [not that is that common afterall]
    Be conservative if you are not sure.
    and if you are not sure, always ask other for ideas

  7. Linda Storm

    December 3, 2010 - 4:43 pm

    I truly believe that not only the best ideas, but the best decisions are made by more than one mind but less than four.