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Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could understand your decision-making style and more quickly arrive at the best choice? And wouldn’t this understanding also be helpful regarding other people so you could know the best ways to convince them?
Well, thanks to our 20 years of motivation research, that’s possible. Below, we’ll go over the traits that influence people’s decision-making styles and discuss what they mean for your work.
But first, let’s go over some common decision-making styles often discussed in the business world.
If you Google “decision-making styles,” much of what you’ll find revolves around four types:
These four labels are based on research by Alan Rowe and Richard Mason, who developed a Decision Style Inventory to measure a person’s decision-making style. They wrote about it at length in their book, Managing with Style, published in 1987.
However, in our 20 years of research, we found that people don’t fit neatly into boxes. We don’t believe in types. We’ve uncovered 48 distinct traits (“motivations”), and within each trait, we’ve scored motivation levels within a culture between 0 to 100. For people with motivation levels outside the levels for others in their culture, their personal score might be in the minuses or above 100. The result? A unique “fingerprint.”
We want to help you build upon your knowledge of decision-making styles with our modern, evidence-based traits around decision-making by going over eight motivations that influence your decision-making style.
Motivations in the Convincer Input group govern the communication methods you prefer to use when making a decision. (Hint: If you’re trying to convince someone, it’s helpful to know their Convincer Input motivations!)
How important is it to you to personally experience something before making a decision about it? Those with a high motivation for doing prefer to touch, feel, test and experience something themselves before they’re convinced it’s the right decision.
Do you rely heavily on reading facts and data before you’re convinced? Those highly motivated toward reading love to use documentation, reports, research studies and even emails to inform their decisions.
How much weight do you place on hearing something when making a decision? Those highly motivated toward hearing prefer to have conversations or listen to someone explain something.
If graphs, charts, and face-to-face meetings are key to convincing you, you may be highly motivated toward seeing. This motivation revolves around visual stimuli to aid in decision making.
Motivations in the Convincer Process group drive the process you use to arrive at a decision, including how much time and evidence you need before you are convinced.
How many examples do you need before you feel confident moving forward on a decision? Those who are highly motivated toward examples might need several exposures to a person, option or idea before they are convinced.
For example, they might need to see a new hire prove they’re competent at a task five or six times before deciding if the new hire is a good fit for that role. Or, they might need to test out a new software program a couple of times before they determine if it’s useful for their business.
Do you often get a hunch about something and make choices based on a “gut feeling?” If so, you may have a high motivation for being convinced automatically, meaning you draw conclusions based on just one or even a partial exposure.
If you continually check your conclusions, reassess your decisions and are never quite convinced—you may have a high motivation for consistency. This refers to your level of skepticism in your decision-making style.
Do you need a specific period of time to pass before you’re convinced? Those highly motivated toward making decisions over time need days, weeks, months, even years to mull over their options.
As you can see, there are many factors and motivations that influence your decision-making style. While researchers have attempted to create a definitive list of “types,” the truth is, we’re all unique, and our tendencies fall on a spectrum.