Decisions

By Dr. Geri McArdle

The poem The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, highlights the  dilemma we face while making decisions.  Decision-making refers to the thought process involved in choosing the most logical choice from among the options available.  The ability to make the right decision is the focus of this article.

Building Blocks

Decisions are the most basic building blocks in our  lives, in our careers and in our communities. According to studies conducted by Sheena Iyengar, business professor at Columbia University, Business School and a noted expert in “choice,” stated that Americans make an average of 70 decisions each day from “… mundane decisions such as which route to work, what’s for lunch, as well as defining decisions such as where to live, whom to marry, and whether to accept another job offer.”

I didn’t realize is, for every decision you make, that decision impacts the decisions that come after it, even in totally unrelated situations. For example, according to Dr. Iyengar “… the longer you spend waffling over what to have for breakfast, the harder it will be to make a good decision with a customer or co-worker later that morning.  The more you hem and haw about what to buy at the mall on Saturday afternoon, the more likely you are to choose to eat a giant serving of fries and a double dose of fudge dessert on Saturday night ... in their book, Willpower, noted psychologist Roy Baumeister and John Tierney label the phenomenon ‘decision fatigue,’ and it affects everyone from the Saturday shoppers to judges.http://fsu.edu/faculty/baumeister.dp.php.

 Eleven Decision-making Types

Recently Buzzle.com posted an article, 11 Different Types of Decision Making – One for Every Situation August, 2016, stated, “…  the ability of arriving at the correct decision within a short span of time is a highly valued trait …  the following are the most common types of decision-making styles that people use to confront various tasks in life.”

 The Decision- Making Types

Type

Definition

Irreversible

Permanent once taken cannot be undone.

Reversible

Not final or binding and can be retracted at any point.

Delayed

Can be put on hold until decision-maker thinks that time is right.

Quick Decision

Enables one to make maximum use of the opportunity.

Experimental

Final decision cannot be taken until the preliminary results appear and are positive.

Trial and Error

Involves trying out a certain course of action.

Conditional

Allows for individuals to keep all options opened.


Leadership and Decision-making Styles

Authoritative

Leader is sole decision maker and the subordinates perform the required actions.

Facilitative

Both leader and subordinates work together.

Consultative

Decisions are made in coordination with subordinates.

Delegative

Leader passes on the responsibility for making decision to one or more subordinates.

Summary

Every day we make choices.  Everything we say and do is a result of a choice.  A choice is a decision.  Some decisions you make are quick.  Some decisions require deliberation. Then there are those that can be altered, as compared to ones that can be revoked.  The types of decisions differ according to the situation.  Remember, you now know that there are eleven different types of decision making.

About the Author

Geri McArdle has been a practitioner in the human resource field for 25 years. She has published nine books on human productivity and numerous juried research articles in professional journals... a founding member of our Chapter, an international trainer and consultant, she now spends her time in Fort Myers. 


You can read more by Dr. McArdle in our monthly chapter newsletters.


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