How good is your team at making decisions? If you said not great, my guess is you could use some help with your decision-making protocol. When a decision needs to be made, every leader has several choices regarding how to proceed. However, many leaders and their teams don’t understand their decision-making options.
Here’s how it works in the real world… when a decision needs to be made, the leader gets to decide which of the following types of decisions will be most appropriate:
Command Decision – In this case, the leader makes the decision. Other than asking clarifying questions, our role as followers is to take good notes.
Consultative Decision – This is a decision in which the leader invites input from others but retains the final decision.
Consensus Decision – These are decisions that are reached by a group or team. True consensus decisions are ones in which the group reaches a decision that everyone in the group can FULLY support. Consensus decisions, by definition, are never the product of a vote. Consensus is the most time-consuming type of decision-making – use it sparingly.
Delegated Decision – This is when the leader gives the decision to someone else – usually an individual, but sometimes a team.
A cautionary note: Leaders must be authentic in the use of these options. I’ve seen this scenario… A leader came to a team and said, “We’ve got a decision to make and I’d like it to be Consultative.” However, after some discussion, a team member called out the leader and said, “It sounds like you’ve already made a decision and you don’t want to tell us. If this is really a Command Decision, own it. Don’t try to get our buy-in by faking a Consultative Decision.” The leader responded, “I haven’t decided yet. What you’re hearing is my personal bias. I do have an opinion, that’s why I’m seeking your counsel – to help me evaluate and challenge my current thinking.” Now that’s a good decsion-making process and great team behavior!
As crazy as this may sound, this simple framework really works! If you’ll take 5 minutes and share this post with your team, your decision-making process will improve, you’ll save time, and you’ll make better decisions. [GLS_Shield]
Author: Mark Miller
Mark is a business leader, author, communicator, photographer, husband, and father. He spends his time helping leaders grow.