During my morning Harvard “Management Tip Of The Day” feed read, I ran across an article that speaks to managerial on-the-spot decision making. The article is printed, in its entirety below and attached as well. It’s pretty self explanatory.
Conventional wisdom holds that a flawed decision is better than no decision. After all, you can always change direction. But, in an attempt to appear decisive, leaders may prematurely push for an answer. And if there isn’t a clear conclusion, they’ll provide one. This undermines a team’s ability to make a collective decision. Pretty soon people stop participating because they assume you’ve made up your mind in advance. If you can’t agree, don’t impose an answer. Instead, end the discussion by putting a process in place that yields decisions—even slowly-made ones—that everyone can accept. That way you won’t lose your people’s goodwill next time around.
Questions of course,
- What are your thoughts on this phenomenon?
- Have you ever had a decision made for you during a meeting? How did you feel afterwards?
- As a manager, what scenarios would cause you to take the decision making process from a teamster and decide it for them?
- When is this justified?