Making Better Decisions

  • You need to decide a number of schedule issues regarding an upcoming holiday that impacts your office and its workers. Who works; who takes off, and when will the office open and close?
  • Your division, just having exceeded an important delivery goal, gets a lump-sum cash bonus. How is the money spent or distributed? Do you have a celebration or break the sum into chunks for cash awards, and if it is the latter, is the money evenly split among team members even though the labor among team members was not equal?

What to do? And how much should you include others in your decision? Sometimes it really helps to include others—their viewpoints, data and values—into your decision making. More people and more data lead to richer, better informed decisions and more likely buy-in on the tail-end. However, higher inclusion also demands more time and will invite more conflict and a more complex team or group process.


The Decision Style Profile (DSP) is a well-researched, long-respected tool originally developed by the Center for Creative Leadership and newly published by MHS that uses a series of written scenarios to help respondents identify the decision styles they would use in different circumstances. The styles differ from one another in the degree of inclusion each requires and allows—Directing on one end includes no one but the single decision maker and Teaming on the other end puts the decision in the hands of the collective group or team.

The great thing about the DSP and the training OKA has designed around it is that they drill into the five factors of a decision—Clarity, Information, Alignment, Commitment, and Time, each factor suggesting a different decision point along the inclusion continuum. For instance, the more commitment is needed from the group, the more inclusive the decision process should be, but the less time is available, the less inclusive the decision making process should be. Knowing how to consider and weigh these five factors reveals that the utilization of these Decision Making styles is not merely a matter of personal preference, but a question of which style is most appropriate for the topic and particular decision at hand.

The outcome of a DSP coaching or training event, therefore, is a not merely an insight into the styles that each person finds easiest or the one(s) he/she uses most often, it also teaches a process for evaluating how best to meet each decision that life presents.

Contact Aaron Sanders at asanders@oka-online.com to take and get feedback on the DSP or to have OKA deliver a Decision-Making workshop to your company or team. Click here to learn about OKA’s unique approach to DSP certification training—a one-on-one, online and coaching process that allows for fast and convenient engagement with this tool.

We’ve also put together this short video to introduce you to the DSP (Decision Style Profile).


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