Decision Making

Decisions made by a group are usually better than those made alone.  Group members are able to offer diverse information from many different points of view.  Involving members in the decision-making process has the additional benefit of promoting an atmosphere of cooperation and enhancing the willingness of the members to implement the decision – people support what they help create.  Here is an excellent approach to help members reach good group decisions:

  • Participants should state their interests and priorities, then listen to others, considering all viewpoints.  Everyone should participate.
  • Support positions with which you find some agreement, but don't adopt a position just to reach agreement.
  • Don't use polling, voting, or averaging right away.  Try to reach consensus. At some point, however, you may simply have to call for a vote.
  • Explore controversies and search for areas of agreement.  Constructive controversies can yield the best decision.
  • Seek the best alternative that everyone can support even if a minority supports another alternative.
  • Be creative!  Brainstorm!  Creating a number of options to choose from maximizes the possibility of successfully resolving your problems.

Always reflect on your decisions once they are made.  Consciously learning from past decisions will improve future decisions.  Decisions can be made many different ways.  They can be made by the president, the e-board, a sub-committee, or the entire organization.  The type of decision that needs to be made will usually dictate who should be making it.  For those decisions affecting the entire organization, it is almost always best to involve the entire organization.