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Leading Your Team Through Making Group Decisions

Education & Training

High performing teams that consistently meet or exceed their goals require a diverse group of talented individuals that have a broad range of skills, experiences and opinions. With that mix comes both a strong, balanced team, but often many different opinions on how to achieve the stated goals. Create a winning atmosphere to help your team make decisions by considering the following thoughts:

Ensure That Everyone Is Aligned On The Topic

It may seem obvious, but countless conversations occur where the team lacks clarity on the core issue being discussed. Regardless of the topic, do your best to frame the issue with enough guidance on decision needed, options, resources available, timing, etc., to allow a focused, yet open dialogue.

Set The Right Tone For The Group

Make sure the group is clear that the team needs everyone’s point of view as long as it is presented respectfully and is within the guidelines established by Human Resources. Encourage dissenting points of view, even if in the minority and from junior members.

Everyone Needs To Be A Good Listener

This is the hardest part, but is critical to the success of the team. The meeting leader needs to ensure that everyone’s point of view will be heard and in turn, the group must attentively listen and seek to understand the view being presented. Promote focused listening, versus a common reaction, which is to be preparing a rebuttal. Everyone, including senior members need to learn to listen with an open mind.

Focus On Requirements vs. Preferences

As the discussions progress, it is important that everyone is focused on the requirements of the business and the policies of the organization versus personal preferences. The meeting leader needs to ensure that preferences that are not in the best interest of the business do not influence any decisions that the group needs to make. Engage your Human Resources team if needed.

Seek Common Ground vs. Perfection

If you can achieve unanimous consensus on all aspects of the issue, that’s great, but if you can’t, see if there is enough consensus on the core issue(s) to move forward where the group is comfortable. Remember, a good idea executed well is better than a great idea that never gets out of committee.

Summarize The Point Of View

The leader needs to make a summary of the decision(s) being made, list important details and next steps to be sure that the group is now focused for the final decision process. Take a poll and then, if needed, the senior person needs to make a call on how to move forward.

The Team Needs To Support The Decision

Unless an individual feels that a bad decision has been made, that is harmful to a person or the organization, the group needs to now support the team and carry out the agreed upon outcome. The team leader should always position the HR team as an open door to anyone who seeks their guidance to encourage an atmosphere of transparency and respect.

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