decisions! Understanding decision making psychology can enable you
to reach a conclusion quicker. Whether it's choosing a holiday destination,
or project to fund, you'll find this outline of decision making
psychology a useful addition to your management toolkit.
Making up your own mind should (in theory at least) be the easiest
- after all, there's only one person involved! So we'll skip onto
the more challenging area of group decision making. Somehow, out
of the personality clashes, power struggles and hidden agendas,
a perfect solution is expected to emerge…
A camel is a horse designed by a committee
In group decision making, there a number of methods that can be
applied. These methods map out along a spectrum, from "directive"
to "participatory" decision making. The methods that are closer
to the directive range, mean that the decision is made by a limited,
small number of decision makers in the group. The methods that are
lower on the spectrum, towards the participatory range, mean that
the decision is made by all the parties involved.
Dominance is where one person in the group has the authority
or power to make the final decision.
Minority Influence usually takes the form of decisions delegated
from larger groups and made by sub-committees.
Majority Rules usually involve the group voting on the alternatives
and the alternative receiving the most votes, wins.
Consensus is achieved through group discussion of the alternatives,
where every group member can agree on an option and commit to the
Directive decision making is great when time is tight and decisions
need made fast.
The risk is that decisions made by one person are owned by one person.
People affected by the decision can soon make their feelings known
by their actions. If there is a high emotional bank account between
people involved, the decision may be accepted although not liked.
If there is a low or negative bank account between people involved,
there may be trouble ahead!
To increase your chance of a decision being accepted, a more participatory
approach is recommended. In simple terms, people want to be involved.
Regardless of power or status, knowing you have control and influence
over your working life increases satisfaction and productivity.
It is well known in the caring professions that offering choice
helps speed recovery. The bed-bound patient who is asked whether
they want their curtains open or closed, or has a plant to care
for, fares better than those whose life is entirely managed by other
Involving more people in decision making is risky. It takes more
time. It requires skilled facilitation. It doesn't guarantee success.
But what it does do, is increase the likelihood of decisions being
owned and acted upon by enough people for a positive change to be
Decision making psychology is simple - involvement gets results.
Although power struggles, personality clashes and hidden agendas
are scary territory, over time, power dissipates, people get on
and agendas become more transparent. Invest some time in learning
decision making techniques and getting facilitation
experience and you will get results. The decision to work this
way…. is yours!
Owner, Management for the Rest of Us
7 Brainstorming Rules & Techniques To Get More From Group
We all know that a camel was a horse designed by a committee –
right?!!. This perfectly demonstrates the unwritten law of business,
where the output of a group does not equal the sum of the individual
parts. Use these 7 brainstorming rules and techniques and be the
exception to the rule, get more from group problem and keep the
creative juices focused and flowing...