Learn the four decision-making styles and the factors that influence which style will be best for your situation.
When you make decisions, there are four decision-making styles that you can use. There’s an autocratic style, a participatory one, a democratic style, and a consensus-based decision-making style. Your choice of which of those four styles to use is driven by two factors.
The first factor is the urgency of making the decision. From low urgency (you’ve got plenty of time to make the call) to high urgency (we need a decision right now). The second dimension to consider is the size or impact of the decision, from small decisions that won’t have a large impact to big decisions that are going to have a huge impact. As you look at which style of decision-making to use, you need to consider both of these dimensions.
For situations where you have low impact and they’re reasonably small decisions but they get larger as urgency goes up, an autocratic decision-making style is the most appropriate.
For larger decisions where there’s higher urgency and you need to make a call soon but the impact is going to be big, you’re looking at a situation where you need to use a participatory decision-making style.
For situations where it’s a large decision but there’s no urgency around it, you’ve got plenty of time. You can use a consensus based decision making style.
And last, for midsize decisions where there’s not a lot of urgency but you do need to make a decision and move on, a democratic style is the most appropriate.
As you go to select a decision-making style, just remember to consider the urgency of making the call and the size or impact of that decision. In future blogs, I’ll go into much more depth on each of these four styles to give you a better sense of which one you should be using in various situations.
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