Decision Making Styles
There are alternative styles that a leader can use in guiding decision making in a team setting. Four that are typically used are:
- Command: Leader makes the decision alone.
- Consult: Leader gathers input from others, then makes the decision.
- Majority: Group members are polled for their opinions. The majority opinion becomes the group decision.
- Consensus: Everyone in the group discusses the subject, arriving at a decision that all members can support. A consensus decision does not have to be unanimous, but all members must be able to live with and agree to fully support the choice.
When making decisions that are significant and that require everyone’s support, it is important to consider discussing and working through all aspects of an issue to arrive at consensus. Since all decisions are not equally important, it can be useful to ask yourself and your team, some questions before automatically choosing a decision making style.
- How critical is this decision to the success of our project?
- How important is it that everyone on the team fully supports this decision?
- Do we need to talk about the issues involved to collect more information before deciding?
Very early in a team’s life it is important to work through decisions together to build trust. Once you have established a good working relationship though, you should begin choosing a style that is appropriate to the decision being made.