Every day, leaders make major decisions that have significant influence on the direction of a department or the company’s bottom line. Everyone has a preferred decision-making style. Knowing your style, and being aware of the pitfalls of each style, is an important step in becoming a leader—and helping build the skills of the people around you.

Knowing your communication style can give you more insight into why you make the decisions you do and help you to improve your decisions.

Each primary communication style favors a certain approach to making decisions.

Take a look at the four major decision-making styles:

The Director: Unafraid of taking risks, they often charge forward with their decisions. They believe in quick action and decisiveness.

The Expresser: These professionals rely on their creativity and often come up with “out of the box” decisions. They enjoy brainstorming and are also open to riskier ideas.

The Thinker: This type of decision-maker likes to sit with a problem and methodically go through all the possible outcomes to come up with the most logical answer. These are the people who prefer to tackle one problem at a time and ensure that they consider all factors before making the best possible choice.

Harmonizers: These relationship-oriented professionals go out of their way to make sure everyone in the group is happy. They often choose the decision that will meet the needs of the most people. However, they may sacrifice making the best decision in order to ensure that nobody’s feelings are hurt.

Naturally, each of these styles prefers certain kinds of decisions.

  • Directors like decisions that focus on big strategic issues.
  • Thinkers like to solve problems.
  • Expressers like brainstorming.
  • Harmonizers like decisions that focus on helping people work together.

In order to make the best decisions, it helps to have a mix of styles in the room.

It helps to have a balance of all four styles. Too many Directors and Expressers in a room can result in a lot of loud voices and conflict. Too many Thinkers and Harmonizers in the room can result in analysis paralysis.

Learn to spot these different types and aim for a balanced representation of decision-making styles. If you’re making decisions alone, consult a person with a style that will compliment your own. For example, if you’re a Harmonizer who’s hung up on ensuring everyone winds up happy with the decision, turn to a Director who can encourage you to be more firm and decisive. If you’re a Thinker who needs a few “out of the box” options, seek out an Expresser.

This post was originally published at Leading-Resources.com.