Decision maker

Everyone makes decisions, but why are some better than others?

Every day we are confronted with a myriad of choices. What clothes should I wear? What should I make for dinner? Should I go meet my friend for a coffee? It is estimated that an adult makes about 35,000 decisions each day. Our minds are constantly making choices that can affect our current and future state. The process of consistent decision making is an important part of any individual’s development. This is extremely important in the workplace as the decisions you make can affect hundreds (and if you are a CEO – thousands) of individuals both within your company and externally with your customers and suppliers. Although all individuals make decisions, the ability to make consistent, reliable and effective decisions comes down to our hardwired behaviours, and in particular these attributes dictate the pace and judgement of our choices.


Decisiveness is the ability to make quick decisions using the available information and this ability will reflect how confident someone is at accepting risk in most situations. People who are high in decisiveness do not enjoy deliberating over processes and instead will risk misjudgement for the sake of timeliness. They feel comfortable making impulsive decisions with the available information and don’t necessarily feel the need to consult others before moving forward. People with low decisiveness are more methodical in their approach and will tend to overanalyse situations before making a decision. Even in trivial matters, they will likely delay their actions until they feel comfortable taking the next step. These individuals can be barriers to change and often they will rely heavily on other people’s opinions to make the right choices.

Each role’s required level of decisiveness varies making it extremely important that this area is thoroughly evaluated prior to employment or promotion. Being self-aware of your own decision making processes and understanding your employee’s innate decision-making qualities can dramatically improve operational and strategic decisions and outcomes.

Decisiveness and Objective Judgement

Individuals that have a balance between these two traits tend to be reliable decision makers. Individuals with high decisiveness and low objective judgement tend to make quick decisions based on very little information and will have a tendency to be poor decision makers. Individuals with low objective judgment will use emotional reasoning and trust their feelings before making decisions, whereas those with high objective judgement tend to be quite unemotive in their decision-making process. Individuals with a combination of low decisiveness and high objective judgement tend to delay making decisions, in many cases to the absolute frustration of those around them.

Decisiveness and Assertiveness

Highly assertive personalities with low decisiveness scores may not take action quickly, instead preferring to be in the background and influence those involved one by one instead of taking a stand in a group setting. Highly decisive individuals with low assertiveness scores may not be perceived as natural leaders but can act suddenly when the situation calls for a more practical approach.

Decisiveness and Energy

High scores on the energy and decisiveness scales mirror a need for urgent decisions. High energy coupled with low decisiveness can cause individuals to be distracted by details that interfere with their ability to decide quickly. Highly decisive individuals with a low energy level may not communicate their sense of urgency, even when decision making comes easily, leaving others confused as to their level of commitment.

Decisiveness is one of the nine behavioural scales used in the Profiles International Psychometric assessments. By employing an objective selection process and implementing psychometric testing, organisations will be able to easily identify whether their candidates have the natural decision making qualities required in their role which will result in improved employee engagement, productivity and profitability.

To learn more about Psychometric Assessments and how they can improve your selection process, please contact the Peoplogica office on 02 9936 9000 or email

Written by David Snow

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