Decision Making Models, Collaboration and How to Communicate Decisions Effectively
Some decisions are very simple and you hardly know you are making them. Others are time consuming, have financial implications with potentially high risk. They often involve complex and unpredictable interpersonal issues. Taking a step by step process such as identifying, gathering information, identifying alternatives, weighing the evidence, choosing amongst the alternatives, taking action and reviewing, can increase the chance of a successful outcome.
Decision Making Models
While most decision models are based on the above steps, there are a few different methodologies which can be used to assist.
- Rational decision making
- Based on:
- logic and sequential thinking
- data and information
- obtaining a wide range of alternative options
- reduced bias
- Intuitive decision making
- Based on:
- gut instincts from previous experiences and pattern recognition
- proven success
- It is not determined by data and information.
- Creative decision making
- Based on:
- Information, data and insights (similar to rational making)
- potential ideas for a solution
- allows the subconscious mind to lead to a decision (similar to intuitive decision making)
- iterative process (building, refining, improving)
This is the ‘all round’ approach which can lead to good decision making.
Collaboration – connecting with others when making decisions
When working with other people, do you:
- Participate in changing conversations and challenge each other in respectful ways?
- Does everyone listen to you, and understand and respect your point of view?
- Do you make a conscious effort not to interrupt or talk over people?
- What is the environment of the meetings: stress-free and non-toxic, working together, with willing participants actively taking action?
- Does everyone show emotional intelligence and respond to challenges so the ‘best’ in people is allowed to surface?
- When leaving a meeting is everyone clear on why, how and what is to be done?
Some people base their decision making on opinions only, without accepting data and information, the knowledge of alternative options, and the experiences of others. Some are single-minded and/or have a resistance to change. People can also become anxious, disconnected, work in silos, have a lower engagement and trust. These factors lead to difficult conversations and meetings and perhaps a lack of contributing to action.
There is a common acronym: VUCA, short for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. These words refer to four distinct elements within our current world which make it difficult to approach challenging situations and to make good decisions in business, organisations and associations. It is easy to accept VUCA, allow compromises or maintain the status quo, and, in doing so, discard the hard work of strategy and planning using today’s best practice. The agility to be adaptive with the use of strategic methods, and building such a culture in collaboration, is important to making good decisions.
How to Communicate Decisions Effectively
Effective leaders at work, home or within the community can master the art of human connection through leading by example, being authentic, showing compassion, remaining calm and confident. Their communication is succinct, clear and harnesses change.
To create a greater human connection and change conversations:
- Look honestly at yourself and others
- Know your purpose / vision
- Listen to understand, not respond
- Focus on the issue and not the people and their differences
- Employ high emotional intelligence (appreciate differences and how others feel)
- Be curious to learn and be reflective
- Inspire others and harness special moments
A decision can be communicated by stating why it was made, and what it means for the audience. Implement the following:
The reason the decision was necessary
Summarise the opportunity to make the decision, the issues and the action plan. Importantly explain ‘why’.
The final decision
Provide a precise statement.
State what the decision means to the:
Family as a whole and family members, or
Organisation – staff and customers or clientele, or
Association and the members, or
Community groups and the people
Address how the solutions will assist
Speak directly to the changes that people will experience.
- State how people are going to be supported with the decision
- Provide information to allow for adjustment to change
- Accept feedback after the decision is implemented
Communicating hard decisions
- Be prepared and start with a positive
- Maintain respect
- Remember the acronym THINK – True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary and Kind
- Be specific – don’t send mixed messages verbally or with your posture and gestures
- Understand others may disagree
- Anticipate questions and comments
- Listen to the venting – don’t debate or take comments personally
- Acknowledge and listen to the concerns of others – offer to follow up later if necessary
- Set clear expectations
- Follow up as needed