A Clear Decision Making Process

Making a decision can stimulate group tension and dissatisfaction in unexpected ways. Before you ask for input, be sure your team has a clear understanding of how a particular decision will be made. Knowing what the process will be upfront eliminates mistaken expectations and the accompanying surprise and irritation at you.

There are four major forms of decision making:

  1. 1.      My Way – “I have made the decision”

With this approach, the buck stops with you.  You feel you have all the information you need and accept responsibility for how the decision turns out.

  1. 2.      Consult with Team – “I’ll make this decision, but I would like your thinking”

The input of others is valued, but you may have other concerns the team doesn’t know about or may not be able to weigh accurately. This decision may be important to the future of the business or to creating a business that reflects your personal style. You alone will be responsible for how the decision turns out.

  1. 3.      Majority Rules – “We’ll take a vote to decide how to proceed”

You’ll do what the majority decides. After listening to all the ideas you’ll vote on the approach that you’ll take.

  1. 4.      Consensus – “We will make this decision as a team and will only proceed when we all agree”

Everyone gets to fully participate and the final decision will more likely be embraced by everyone. This approach takes as much time as it takes – often quite long.


Declare your intentions up front, stick to what you say you’ll do and don’t bemoan the process; it was your decision after all to decide this way.