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Decision Making

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Leadership Insights:

Leadership Tips: O-the-job self improvement ideas to strengthen your leadership skills

Stress: A dozen strategies to reduce on-the-job stress

Leadership Articles: Leadership and team development insights by Jeff Appelquist

Time Management: Strategies and activities to help business leaders manage their time

Leadership Styles: Overview of the frameworks, theories, and styles of leadership

Leadership Power: Six types of power for business leaders

Delegation: Understanding the skill of delegating effectively

Decision Making: Understanding sound decision making

Personalized Growth Plan: Design and begin a personalized leadership growth plan

Communication Tips: Leaders know how to communicate effectively

The Power of Praise: Meaningful praise is a powerful and important motivator

Understanding Feedback: There are five main categories of feedback 

Leadership Responsibilities: A team leader's responsibilities to his or her team

Leader/Team Tension: Leader behavior that can weaken team cohesiveness

Management Framework: A process outline for achieving results

Strategic Planning: Determine where your team has been and where it wants to be

Engagement Misconceptions: Twelve misconceptions about employee engagement

High-Power Leadership: When does leadership power become counterproductive

Succession Planning: Guidelines for a successful succession program

Decision Making

Decision making is a process of deciding to move into the future following a particular course of action.  Because things are rarely certain in business, the selected courses of action are based on judgments and assessments that contain an element of speculation.  But they are speculative in proportion to the information available and the accuracy of data interpretation. In short, decision making is not so much a precise science as it is a process of making educated guesses based on research, experience, and planning.

When making major decisions, team leaders must consider five fundamental decision-making questions:

1.      What is the purpose of the decision?  Or, Why is a decision necessary?

2.      What options are possible?

3.      What is the best course of action to achieve our desired outcomes?

4.      Is the course of action achievable?

5.      What is a workable action plan and timetable for implementing the decision?

Decisions come in all shapes and sizes, from daily supervisory details to broad team-altering judgments.

Decisions are generally made following one or more basic types of decision actions:

1.      Leader Decisions— One person makes the decision without much input, if any, from the team.

2.      Key Player Decisions— A select group of key team members make the decision.

Both the single leader and key player decision patterns have the advantage of quick and easy implementation.  These types of decisions are good when the decision affects only a small portion of the team, when the decision is not something that will affect overall  team performance or morale, or when the decision is necessary to avert a crisis.  However, down the road limited input can potentially result in poor ongoing team support. 

3.      Majority Decisions— A majority vote leads to a decision.  If the decision to be made is contested by sub groups in the team, then a majority vote can potentially lead to friction between team factions.

4.      Unanimous Decisions—After a review of the information, the full team is in agreement.

5.      Consensus Decision— Team members agree to the decision even though they believe a different course of action is preferable.  In a consensus decision, team members agree that they can commit to the decision.

Decision Making Peer Discussion

Meet with other team leaders and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the five different patterns of decision making.  When is it best to use each?  Which patterns fit your style most comfortably?  How does your team respond to different types of decision processes?