Improve Team Decision Making - Top 10 Factors

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How each of us processes information and makes decisions can be as unique as our finger prints but there are some common themes as to how individuals process information and make decisions. Understanding these themes and putting this understanding to use when working as part of a team can significantly improve the teams' decision making process and results. Following is a list of the top 10 factors or approaches to take into consideration. With a very diverse team the needs of each individual can vary greatly and cause great angst. However, if you can understand the various needs and work through them, you will likely make superior decisions as a team as you will tap into each team members strengths when it best suits the challenge.

  1. Depth of information required before moving forward.
  2. How information is processes - internally or through verbal discussion
  3. Risk tolerance
  4. Need for perfection or "close enough rule"
  5. Response to time pressure
  6. Tolerance for constructive/public conflict
  7. Comfort level with brainstorming
  8. Tend to make decisions based on fact or intuition
  9. Historical presidencies that need to be taken into consideration
  10. Is the decision a one off or part of a bigger picture decision

When working as part of team you do not need to go through this checklist each and every time a decision needs to be made. However, spending time during the formative stages of the team to understand where people sit on each of these areas could be extremely beneficial in future meetings. So take an issue that is relevant to the team and clearly define the objective of the meeting to be two fold: 

  1. Make a decision as a team and
  2. Discuss the team's different approaches to making decisions.

Review each of the dimensions listed above and have team members state their preferences and why it is important to them. Dealing with these differences up from and gaining an appreciation of where others are coming from will allow them to listen and actually hear each other better especially when discussing a very charged decision. The process of decision making will be vastly improved if team members can understand where their counterparts are coming from and highly functioning teams will make the most of this diversity to make superior decisions.

Team Enthusiast

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Lynn Ferguson has 1 articles online

Lynn has held executive positions at a variety of organizations that range from an EVP of a dot-com start up to most recently, VP Global Sourcing for Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce prior to becoming a partner in Conundrum Adventures. Conundrum Adventures delivers team building programs to corporate clients Through-out her career she has demonstrated the ability to lead and inspire teams to achieve excellent results. A key focus area has been effective relationship management. Lynn draws on her experience to effectively facilitate team discussions to find creative solutions to the most challenging problems. Lynn holds an HBA and an MBA degree from the Ivey Business School. If you are interested in reading more articles written by Lynn check out the Team Resources blog

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Improve Team Decision Making - Top 10 Factors

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This article was published on 2010/04/02