Decisions: Data or Guts?

Knowing how you make decisions can lead to you making better and more effective decisions that affect both your business and personal life.  One model is to know if you are more of a Maximizer or a Satisficer? What did you call me?

“Maximizers are people who want the very best. Satisficers are people who want good enough,” says Barry Schwartz, a professor of psychology and author of The Paradox Choice.

  • A Maximizer feels compelled to research and examine every possible option before deciding.
  • A Maximizer’s motivation is not just about making a good or even a great decision. It is about making the best decision.
  • This style is helpful in crucial decision-making situations.

Maximizers typically apply this approach automatically for major and minor decisions. They are typically as likely to attempt to maximize their outcomes for important decisions such as purchasing a business, a car, or a home as they are for relatively unimportant decisions such as where to eat dinner, finding a better bargain on clothes, or finding a more interesting station on the radio.

U.S. Nobel Prize-winning economist Herbert A. Simon, created the term Satisficer in 1956.

  • This term Satisfice is a combination of the words satisfy and suffice.  Satisfy means to be adequate. Suffice means to meet or satisfy a need.
  • Satisficers make a decision as soon as their criteria have been met. (THIS IS ME! I get the basic information needed and then trust my gut and leap!)
  • Satisficers generally make good decisions and are not concerned about achieving the best possible outcome.
  • This style is helpful when decisions need to be made quickly and efficiently.

A Satisficer is more interested in being expedient than thorough. They are more likely to jump on a deal or opportunity and be happy with the outcome even though they may have missed other, potentially better options. Being more expedient does not mean that Satisficers have lower standards or settle for mediocre outcomes. They can have very high standards.  The key difference is, once their standards are met, they are satisfied.

Appreciate the natural decision-making style that you have, when it is most helpful, and in what specific situations we may want to modify this style. The second step is to appreciate those who have styles opposite of ours. As with most other aspects of life, differences can be negatives or positives depending on our context.

How are you making decisions in your business?   

If you need help making decisions in your business, consider talking with me about a 90 Minute FOCUS session.  We can get all that data out of your head and into action!  The first step – let’s chat! Schedule a Free 30 Minute FOUCS session with me.