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Decision Making

Are you asking the right questions before making a final decision?

Often when faced with making a final decision based on input from the team, a leader may move ahead with implementing the recommended solution, but may not really have all the facts or explored the solution presented fully.

When faced with making a decision based on input from your team, consider if the following is occurring before making the decision:

  • Are the individuals providing input motivated (based purely on self-interest) to choose the solution they have chosen?  (e.g., will the decision increase compensation for those recommending the solution or reduce workload?) While this is not necessarily a negative, it should be explored further to be sure it is the right solution.
  • Were dissenting opinions explored or was people on the team pushed toward promoting the solution that the majority wanted? (e.g., sometimes members of a team – especially quieter ones – may feel like they should just go along with the majority because that is what is expected.)

The leader might ask the team what alternative solutions they considered and why was those solutions not pushed forward?  The goal here is to be sure that the team did consider viable solutions and not just work through one solution to present to resolve the situation. If it is unknown, or not presented as part of the solution, the leader might also ask how the solution was derived – what information was included: facts, research, and other considerations.

The goal here is not to question every step the team took in developing a solution to a problem, but rather to be sure that the right information was considered by the team and the team took a collaborative approach to developing the solution. This ensures that the leader is making the best decision based on input and the work of the team.

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