Decisiveness strategies are employed to approach the process not make the decision.  Applied decision strategies help sort and structure decisions to allow for prioritization, faster responses, better results, and ways to deal with unknown, ambiguous, unique or rapidly evolving situations where experience or aptitude are not an asset.

Delegate– Do you as the leader need to make this decision? Use your team building skills and delegate the decision to others- live with it!

Decide to decide– Ed Muzio describes the ways that groups can approach decisions in his Group Decisions Making that Works video.

Write it out – a Standard Operating Procedure, a group covenant or a charter that describes how decisions are approached and can provide roles and actions. This ensures that everyone involved in the decision will no matter their agreement with the final decision:

  • Explain the rational of the decision
  • Support the decision and the team that made it
  • Align their resources toward the decision
  • Seek contrary evidence without sabotage

Apply the “Litmus Test”- as described by Garvin and Roberto.

  • Assure multiple alternatives are available
  • Identify and test assumptions regularly
  • Define your goals and criteria for making your decision and make sure your alternatives support them
  • Insure healthy debate by asking focused questions ( sometimes as devils advocate) and judging the quality of active listening
  • Maintain a perception of fairness where everyone participates and ideas are considered equally

Additional Information

For tips on how to be clear in your meetings, watch this video, Information vs. Solution by Ed Muzio, as he talks about these two types of meetings.
Ready to write out an SOP or group covenant?  Take a look at an example of a Decision Making Charter from the Shenandoah National Park management team.
To read more about the “Litmus Test” by Gavin and Roberto, visit the Harvard Business Review Article What You Don’t Know About Making Decisions

Write a Review

  1. This was a very useful resource for me and also provided me with ideas on how to bring things back to my team. The additional resources and specifically the example from Shenandoah was very helpful. It’s great to know how other parks have tapped into this information and have agreed to apply it to their work groups!


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