There are common patterns we use for making decisions. Some people prefer to look at only a few options and decide quickly. Some look at many options, get more opinions and take a long time. Others vary with each situation. There are 6 basic Decision-Making approaches and each person typically has 1 of them.

Decision-Making in groups can be greatly facilitated with awareness of these different approaches, and people can be selected to work on different projects or with different people based on their decision-making preferences. 

People can have Masks for Decision-Making as well, which typically brings more stress to themselves and to others attempting to make decisions with them.



Confused decision-makers don’t know what they want except that they want to make the “right” decision. They doubt themselves and get stuck while waiting for direction and answers from outside themselves. They may put on the brakes in a form of analysis paralysis or simply go along with what others want without sharing an opinion of their own.



Convergent people look at few options and converge in on a decision quickly for fear of wasting time before making a decision. They want action and fear stagnation. They prefer to not include others in the decision-making process since it slows things down. They know they can always change course, making a different decision later. The forward movement of choosing and implementing that choice is essential for them.



Divergent people diverge out to many options, fearing wasting time after making decisions. They feel stress about going in the wrong direction and wasting effort. They prefer to look at many (maybe all of the) options and include lots of people and opinions in the process. They rarely change direction once a decision is made. Making a good choice, the right choice the first time, is essential for them.



Switchable people use either Convergent or Divergent approaches depending on who and what is involved. They often wait to see what others do, then they automatically do the opposite. Their subconscious intention is to be helpful and bring balance, not to be antagonistic, however it can be rather challenging for others. They can go either way when deciding on their own.



Variable decision-makers recognize the value of both Convergent and Divergent methods. They have some ability to consciously choose how to engage, through a portion of the entire range (e.g., a person could be more Convergent with some Divergence or vice versa). These people have much more ability to move towards another’s approach or shift with new information.



Fluid decision-makers can flow throughout the entire range from Convergent to Divergent. They consciously move towards the best choice based on the situation, the people involved, etc. They are not passive and don’t necessarily wait for others; they are responsive to what the situation calls for as opposed to exclusively following their own personal tendency.