The average adult makes hundreds of decisions a day – 227 of them about food alone! Most of the time our choices are so automatic that we don’t even realize we’re making them. But, there are roughly 27 times a day when we make choices that require a conscious decision. That’s when our decision-making style helps us – or not.
What’s your decision-making style? Imagine having lunch with a group of friends. Ready to order after a brief glance at the menu? You are a snapper. A snapper easily makes on-the-spot decisions. On the positive side, this style is incredibly efficient because little time is wasted on overthinking simple situations. On the negative side, consistently making snap decisions means that small, but crucial, details can be overlooked.
Still deciding on an appetizer while everyone else is ordering entrees? Yep, you are a flipper. Flippers have difficulty making quick or definitive decisions. On the positive side, this style is not only thorough but insightful. A flipper evaluates situations from multiple angles, seeing pitfalls AND positives that others miss. But, when the outcome relies on a timely response, this style can mean missed opportunities or diminished returns.
Maybe you’re the one who wants that delicious cheesecake – but only if everyone else is ordering dessert? You are definitely the grouper. People with this style actually do know what choice they want to make – but they don’t want to take ownership. The upside is that we don’t feel sole responsibility for poor choices. The downfall is that decisions made by group consensus are generally not individually satisfying.
Fortunately, most of the decisions we make each day are neither irreversible or life-changing. We can practice different styles under different circumstances and find what does – and does not – help us to make the best choices.
And, some days we will just have to flip a coin!