10 Indicators of Good Decision Making Processes

If you lead a team, you most likely have facilitated decision-making processes. And I’m willing to guess they haven’t always gone as smoothly as you hoped. Perhaps you’ve tried to build consensus only to find you haven’t gotten anywhere. Or perhaps you’ve made a decision on behalf of your team only to find that people were upset they weren’t involved. 

Decision-making can be hard work, especially when levels of urgency are high. These 10 indicators of good decision-making processes can make it easier. As you read through this list, consider which of these are currently part of your approach and which you could work to further hone.

  1. Everyone is clear about decision-making moments.
  2. Everyone knows their level of empowerment in the decision.
  3. The right people are present–the key stakeholders and decision-makers
  4. Everyone knows what kind of decision-making process will be used and is willing to use it.
  5. The conversations has a clear structure so that the discussion is objective, is focused on ideas and facts, and doesn’t become personal and emotional.
  6. Ideas are freely exchanged and considered.
  7. No individual or subgroup dominates.
  8. If the decision-making process stalls, the group stops and reflects on its process and seeks ways to move forward.
  9. Discussions end with a sense of closure and clear next steps.
  10. The team engages in a reflection on the decision-making process.

The not-so-secret ingredient in the best decision-making processes is trust. If teams have trust, these other elements can take root. And if you’re working to build trust, focusing on these indicators can help you do so. 

Want to learn even more about building trusting teams and equitable and inclusive decision-making? Join our Art of Coaching Teams Masterclass. This is one of several essential leadership skills you need to lead a thriving team.