Do You Maximise Or Satisfice When Making Your Decisions?

Posted on 20 April '21 by , under people.

Critical decisions are often made in the workplace. It’s highly likely that at one point or another, a decision has had to be made by you to result in an outcome that could impact performance or some other aspect of the business.

Generally there are two ways in which people make decisions. These are known as maximising or satisficing, and both have drastically different approaches and impacts for how individuals make decisions.

Those who use maximising in their decision making process are more likely to weigh/compare choices to carefully assess which is the best one.

When a decision is made by a maximiser, often it’s a well-informed one that could potentially lead to a better outcome overall. Their decisions may look the most logical or efficient as their time has been spent deliberating potential results and possibilities.

A drawback to the maximiser process is that a lot of time can be wasted in the process of getting it right. Decision paralysis and regret is also a common occurrence for those who overthink their options.

Satisficers are those who would prefer to make decisions quickly – the decision is made promptly, and is usually acceptable but not the best choice or course of action that could be taken. In the workplace, it’s also commonly known as the “good enough” approach.

Those who can be classified as satisficers in the way they decide may make decisions faster, weigh up less options when comparing and go more so with their gut feeling on what is appropriate. Satisficed decisions may not necessarily be the best approach to a problem, but is a solution that is provided more quickly.

Workplace decision-making could have various outcomes, depending on the approach taken towards them. Deciding on what kind of coffee to have during a break is appropriate for satisficing, but figuring out the best way to handle a business meeting with an important client is probably better suited to a maximised decision-making process. It is always necessary to consider the gravity of the choice needing to be made, and what could be impacted if these choices aren’t made in accordance with this.