Balanced Decision Making

scalesBalanced decision making offers an opportunity for greater intellectual input in the decision making process. It also provides an opportunity for greater commitment to implementing the decision once it is made. Here is how it will work for you.

You, as the decision maker, retain the authority to make decisions. However, you have an opportunity to gather greater input by interviewing people who:

  • Have information to share that will benefit you in making the decision
  • Have experience to share that might be relevant
  • This is not a long process. It could be just a phone call or an e-mail soliciting some input.

The second part of the process comes after you have reached a tentative conclusion. At this point, you should talk with people or departments that could be impacted by the final decision. This will increase their ownership in the decision. Doing this also prevents unintended or adverse consequences from your decision. Too often, solving one problem may unintentionally create more problems for others. You may be able to avoid adverse consequences if you talk with others first and let them know what you plan to do.

Some people mistake balanced decision making with decision making by consensus. The two couldn’t be more different. Balanced decision making doesn’t remove the decision maker from the responsibility of making the right decision. It simply provides for greater support for the decision.

This article is excerpted from Jim McGraw’s book, “Skills for Success.