February 2022 Leader Letter

Understanding the 4 Decision Making Styles

Learning your decision-making process can further your growth as a leader.

By Andy Tonge

Making decisions can be a big responsibility for any leader. Whatever decisions you make or directives you decide will impact your team and those around you. Learn about the four styles of coming to a decision and you will be a more informed leader and better equipped to make the right decision.

Directive Decision Maker

 The directive decision maker is well-informed and uses the available information, combined with their past experiences, to make rational decisions. These leaders tend to avoid ambiguity and can often come to quick decisions. While this style of leadership can rely on selective input from others, it can feel less collaborative than other decision making styles.

Analytical Decision Maker

 As implied in the name, this style relies on making decisions based on the analytical information available. Often, these leaders will compile any data and evidence and try to make logical sense on what decision is best. More flexible than their directive decision making counterparts, this style sees a higher tolerance for ambiguity and is more proactive in seeking out more information and perspective before deciding.

Conceptual Decision Maker

 This style of decision-making focuses on the big picture and has a high tolerance for ambiguity. Instead of being focused on the data or past experiences, conceptual decision makers are focused on the future and what the potential outcomes can lead to. These leaders can see patterns form and make choices focused on the long-term outcome.

Behavioral Decision Maker

In this style, the leader focuses more on relationships than the task at hand. By analyzing the feelings of others, they often avoid ambiguity. Their collaborative decision making relies on input from others. Finding success in this leadership style requires strong communication and collaboration.

Decision making can shape how others perceive you as a leader. Each style has pros and cons. By understanding these styles, you can ensure that you are using the best decision-making techniques for your situation!

Additional Resources:

Can’t Decide?