I’ve found over the course of my career that there are three main types of decision making models or methods a manager will use when attempting to make a decision. While every individual manager will follow his own process, all tend to follow into one of the three following categories:
Managers who follow the rational or logical decision making model tend to gather facts, thoroughly examine situations, and make logical decisions based on all that they know on a given subject. He does as much research as possible and leaves nothing to chance. This is the most recommend method of decision making for those in management positions.
Intuitive decision making involves not the use of statistics and data but a manager’s gut feelings. While this method isn’t necessarily bad it can lead to disaster as one’s gut, or instinct, should never be the sole factor in the decision making process. It’s better to use past experiences, insight, and statistics together to make the right choice.
The worst decision making model is the predisposed method. A manager will make a snap decision based on his personal preferences and opinions and will work to find data that backs up what he wants to do, regardless of whether or not his decision is actually right. He tends to ignore important information merely because it doesn’t support his agenda.
It’s important for you to identify what type of decision making model you usually follow. Is the one you’re using most effective? Do you tend to act in a predisposed manner? Figure out where you stand on the decision making grid and then decide if you need to make a change. The future of your department may depend on it.