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Decision Making: Knowing Your Personal Style

30 Mar, 2016

Decision Making: Knowing Your Personal Style

Decision Making | Two-Part Article Series » Part I: Knowing Your Personal Style » Part II: Evaluating & Strengthening Your Decision-Making


Part I: Knowing Your Personal Style

  • How do you make decisions?
  • How do feel about making decisions?
  • Do you worry about making the wrong decision?

Whether you are exploring a change of career or looking for work in your current field, making decisions is a necessary part of moving from where you are to where you want to be.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines a decision as “the act of reaching a conclusion or making up one’s mind.” Read this article to discover your preferred style of decision-making. According to Richard Nelson Jones, author of “Effective Thinking Skills” there are 7 styles of decision-making. Understanding our personal preferred style is the first step the improving our decision-making process.

Discover your preferred style. Use this quiz based on Jones’ work to discover your preferred style. Read the following statements and place them in rank order (from 1 to 7), beginning with those you most frequently use. Assign a 1 to the style you think you use most often and a 7 to the style you use least often.

For example, if most of the time you prefer to consult widely about your decisions and feel that your decisions are influenced by what others think, put item “e” (Find out what others think and base my decision on that” in first place. Assign this a score of 1 to indicate that it is the style you most frequently use. Continue until you have the order that is closest to your preferences.

It is best if you work quickly to rank order your preferences. These styles may overlap. You may find that you use different styles in different situations. If you are not sure, think about some of the important decisions you have made recently and how you approached them.

When I make a decision I am more likely to:

A)  Gather the important information relevant to my decision and review it logically and dispassionately.
B)  Decide by getting in touch with my inner feelings and intuition about what is right.
C)  Collect as much information as I can and take a long time to appraise it very carefully.
D)  Try not to think about it and/or procrastinate about my decision.
E)  Decide quickly according what I feel right away.
F)  Find out what others think and base my decision on that.
G)  Decide according to my principles and beliefs.

Next review your preferred styles. What styles do you most and least prefer?

  • My most preferred style of making decisions is _________.
  • My least preferred style of making decisions is _________.

Evaluate your preferred styles. What are the advantages and disadvantages of your preferred styles?

Effective decision-making depends on a variety of factors including context and importance of the decision. For example, in an urgent situation making a decision quickly may be essential for it to be effective.

If your life is in danger you don’t want your doctor to gather more information than is necessary to administer first aid treatment. If you are considering a complete career change that involves a field of work that is unfamiliar to you, it is important to gather the information you need to make an informed decision.

Complete the following sentences:

  • One advantage of [insert your more preferred decision style here] is ..
  • One disadvantage of [insert your more preferred decision style here] is ..

Tomorrow… Part II: Evaluating & Strengthening Your Decision-Making

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Jennifer Bradley

Want to learn more about this career professional? Check out a full list of career articles, contact information, and biographical info by visiting her Career Experts member profile. LEARN MORE

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