Have you ever suspected that you are being asked for your opinion on something when the decision has already been made?

Have you ever asked your team to make a decision and when they do, you realise you can’t possibly support it?

What about when the loudest, most senior or most aggressive person in the room always seems to swing the decision their way?

Sometimes the decision making process works well, is transparent and understood by those involved and leads not only to better decisions but also generates trust. More frequently the opposite is true.

Knowing the 5 basic types of decision will help you consciously chose the right process and communicates your reasons for that choice, depending on elements such as timescales, levels of authority, and where the relevant information is held.

Autocratic – You have all the information you need so you make the decision by yourself.

Consultative – You involve others by asking for their suggestions, ideas and recommendations and then you decide.

Consensus – You involve others by generating and evaluating ideas and alternatives and reach a decision by consensus.

Delegated – You determine that another person or group holds the information and the ability to make the decision, so you delegate it to them and support the decision they make.

Democratic – You are part of a group that in which decisions are made by a majority vote.

Bearing in mind there is no right way; each type of decision is effective in different circumstances:

  • How do you decide the best approach for different situations?
  • What is your experience of decision making in your organisation?

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