Join Mike Figliuolo for an in-depth discussion in this video Making decisions, part of Building High-Performance Teams.
- View Offline
- For your high performing team to have impact you need to make decisions because that's why you're the leader and there's a very specific process you can follow in terms of decision making. - [Man] You need to prepare to make the decision. Then you actually make the decision. Notice it's the second step in the process. There are three other critical elements. You have to communicate the decision to other people. Let them know what you've decided and why. You need to execute against that decision.
Just because we say we're going to do something doesn't mean it gets done and you as the leader need to monitor for execution and then last you have to measure and adjust accordingly. If the decision is going well, you continue down that path. However, if the measurement is telling you that it was a bad decision, you need to go back revisit and make a new decision. Now there are four different style of decision making that you can use. - [Man] The first is autocratic. Autocratic is when one individual makes the call without input from anyone else and that call is made quickly and decisively.
The second style of decision making is participatory. Participatory decision making is where there's an individual or a small group responsible for making the decision. However, they get input from others before they make that call. The third style of decision making is democratic and that's where we get all the relevant parties in the room and we simply vote and a majority vote carries the decision. The last style of decision making is consensus based decision making and that's where everyone involved has to agree on the decision before we move forward.
Now we tend to default toward consensus based decision making and sometimes that's a good choice but many times that's not an appropriate style because there are trade offs involved. So a way to think about which style of decision making you should use involves evaluating a decision based on two criteria. First you have to look at the urgency of the decision and is it high urgency that I have to make a decision right now or bad things are going to happen or I'll miss an opportunity or is it low urgency and I've got plenty of time to make the call.
The second element for determining which style of decision making to use is looking at the size of the decision and there are small decisions and there are large decisions that we can consider and depending on the size and urgency of the decision a different decision making style is appropriate. So allow me to explain. If we have a decision that is relatively small but moderate to high urgency.
We're most likely going to use an autocratic decision making style. And the reason for that is I don't need a lot of involvement from other people because the decision is relatively small and there's not a lot of risk of being wrong so the additional input isn't really required to mitigate that risk and I have to act quickly so I don't have a lot of time to involve other people and get there input I just need to make the call.
Now, for decisions that are large but I've got a lot of time. That's where I'm going to use consensus based decision making. And the reason for that is, first I've got plenty of time and it takes a lot of time to get everyone involved to agree on what the decision is but I've got that time.
Second, it's a big decision so I want to make sure I get everybody's input along the way and I want to make sure they bought into the decision. Because remember, just because we make the decision doesn't mean it gets executed. So with consensus based decision making I'm getting everybody bought into the decision so that when we make it they're actually bought into executing it as well. The third style of decision making we can use is participatory.
And that style is most appropriate when we have a large decision to make. However, it's reasonably urgent that we make it. And the reason we choose participatory style there is because, with a large decision I want to get a lot of input. So I need to involve other people so I'm sure I make the right call. And I can minimize my risk by gathering that additional information from other people and I'm going to get them bought into the decision so when we have to execute it, I know it will be executed well.
The other reason for using that style is the urgency is reasonably high and I don't have time to do the consensus based decision making. So I need to gather some input but then quickly make the call. The last style of decision making is democratic. And I use that style when I have a lot of time and the urgency is reasonably low and the decisions are reasonably small.
So we can get the people in a room, give them some input, it may take a little bit of time but I'm not pressed for it. But the decisions aren't really large so we're not going to really hash things out the way we would with consensus based decision making. We'll take a vote, we'll make the decision and we'll move on. There are also three kinds of decisions that you can make. -[Man] The first is no downside. That's a decision where no matter what the future holds this is the right call.
The second type of decision is favorable odds. So on balance with the risks and the rewards it looks like I've got a favorable shot of being correct and getting a return on that decision. The third type of decision is going for broke. This is where there's a lot of uncertainty out there around what might happen but I have to act now otherwise I'll miss this opportunity. And when I go for broke, I can either have a huge reward or a huge bust.
So as I think about making decision as a leader I need to consider that decision making cycle where I prepare to make the decision, then I make it, communicate it, execute it and then measure and adjust. I need to be deliberate around the style of decision making I'm going to use based upon the urgency and the size of that decision and then I should be explicit around the kind of decision I'm trying to make. Whether it's no downside, favorable odds or going for broke.
And if you think about decision making as a process and consider those elements of decision making with a respect to style and type of decision. You're going to make decisions more effectively and more rapidly as the leader of high performing team.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
- Creating a compelling vision and mission for your team
- Understanding the resources your team needs to succeed
- Recruiting the right people
- Balancing workload
- Setting goals
- Empowering people
- Resolving conflict
- Building bench strength and succession plans<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.