Team Decision Has Eight Fundamental Strategies To Improve It.
Are you looking for innovative solutions to a challenging business problem? It is time to resort to team decision-making. By presenting a problem to a group, you will be able to obtain various approaches that could push you towards an unexpected and satisfactory final result.
To do this, you should act on group biases, the lack of confidence in expressing opinions and the homogeneity of the team, common problems that you could face by implementing the strategies for the team decision-making process that we will share with you below. If you need help figuring out where to start, keep reading.
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What is team decision-making?
Team decision-making is the process by which a group of professionals evaluates different alternatives until they agree on the best way to carry out a task, face a conflict or solve a problem.
What is the importance of teamwork in decision-making?
The importance of teamwork in decision-making lies in the exchange of ideas that generates more creative, faster and, in many situations, more accurate solutions. For this reason, more and more companies implement strategies to achieve group consensus.
Top strategies for building consensus in a work team
Are you considering implementing team decision-making within your company? It can be a great idea, especially if you are looking for innovative ways to deal with different situations. This method encourages diversity of opinion, allowing you to gain an extremely valuable variety of perspectives. Likewise, it is an excellent way to stimulate active participation and, therefore, collaboration. Finally, employees will feel a greater commitment to the plan if they have participated in its definition, and this is always good news.
While it is true that obtaining group decisions can take longer and present some challenges, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Furthermore, we put into practice the strategies to improve team decision-making that we will share with you. You will be able to counteract the most common problems, such as bias and low participation. Are you prepared to get the maximum potential out of the team?
1. Build a safe space to share opinions
Specialists in problem-solving strategies maintain that trust and respect are essential for people to feel comfortable enough to share what they think. This can easily be extrapolated to team decision-making. Sharing one’s own opinions or ideas takes work for most people. For this reason, during meetings, many professionals stay in the background, listen and do not actively participate. This is, without a doubt, a real waste since they could provide a different and valuable point of view.
In general, discussions tend to be dominated by those with greater self-confidence and self-esteem. Now, if you want to be able to listen to everyone, you would have to invest in building a work environment based on respect and trust. Every worker should feel safe to share their thoughts, no matter how ridiculous or unhelpful they may seem. Everything can trigger a wonderful idea, so start modifying the work environment today, implementing a coexistence guide and two-way communication as the basis of interrelationships.
2. Collect opinions individually
Collecting opinions individually may seem strange when talking about the team decision-making process. After all, if the goal is consensus building, why not organize a meeting that encourages exchange and discussion? Simply because team dynamics are complex and can affect both participation and the ideas that are shared. You don’t want self-censorship preventing your access to all team members’ views. Therefore, there is no better option than to present a problem and then collect the thoughts independently and anonymously.
A good idea is to prepare a detailed report on the topic or problem to be addressed and ask team members to write down all their suggestions, views and opinions and share them in the suggestion box, in a shared document or even in a cloud folder. There are several brainstorming techniques that you could apply for this purpose to encourage the generation of ideas and, on the other, facilitate everyone’s participation. Once the pictures have been collected, ask the group members to rate them again anonymously. This iterative process called the nominal technique, allows the full potential of the equipment to be exploited without bias. The suggestion that comes first will be the group’s decision.
3. Form a heterogeneous group for team decision-making
One of the greatest advantages of implementing team decision-making strategies is the possibility of obtaining multiple views of a situation. The more heterogeneous the group, the greater variety of opinions will be available to you. Because? Simply because the ideas of human beings are related to their experience and their formal and informal knowledge. So, a team with diverse professionals will ultimately provide greater diversity.
However, it should be noted at this point that, as always, it is necessary to take into account the specific needs of the project and the company when forming the group. In the case of complex tasks, team decision-making could benefit from heterogeneity. In contrast, decisions related to repetitive tasks, which require more structured thinking, could be made more easily in homogeneous environments where everyone thinks more or less equally. In summary, it understands the nature of the decision to be made to choose the best possible formation of the work group.
4. Keep the team small when making vital group decisions
Do you have to make crucial decisions? So keep the team small, as these are less prone to bias, plus they promote interaction better. Members can stay engaged and focused throughout the team decision-making process, reducing distractions and encouraging critical thinking. In fact, when the group is made up of between 3 and 5 people, a more open and meaningful dialogue usually occurs, and communication is more efficient and free of misunderstandings.
On the other hand, it is much easier to ensure the active participation of all team members, who feel more responsible for the decision to be made and, therefore, want to share their thoughts. In addition, consensus building is achieved more quickly and easily since the participants have greater flexibility and ability to understand. So, the next time you face an important decision, remember to keep your team size compact to unlock the team’s potential.
5. Include one or two dissidents to provoke greater innovation of group strategic thinking
As we have mentioned previously, one of the main problems in group decision-making is the human tendency to support the opinions of colleagues with more experience or, simply, a more confident personality. To minimize this bias, how would you like to insert one or two dissidents into the group? His role is to act as devil’s advocate, calling into question the entire team’s decision-making process.
By continually questioning everything that is discussed, other group members are forced to analyze and re-evaluate situations, potentially triggering significant improvements in the quality of deliverables. Isn’t it a fantastic idea? Of course, take into consideration that the dissidents will have an unpleasant task ahead of them; Therefore, they should be people who can handle the stress and tension of the moment.
6. Don’t exaggerate trust in experts
How many times have you organized a team decision-making meeting with the presence of experts in the subject matter to be discussed to obtain a totally expected result? This usually happens in these cases since those present allow themselves to be guided by the experts. After all, they occupy that prominent place for a reason. Although, in many cases, it is necessary to have their vision, presenting it before the chosen group members express their reasoning can help you obtain the conclusions you need to resolve the situation innovatively.
This bias could be minimized if, instead of starting the conversation with experts’ theory, you first gathered opinions from team members. In this way, you would have multiple approaches to a given topic that may or may not coincide with that presented by specialists. You can visualize similarities and small differences that could be implemented into team decision-making.
7. Assign various responsibilities to different team members
Have you ever wondered how the choice of team messenger influences final group decisions? Generally, a single person is responsible for selecting the appropriate group members, organizing the agenda, and communicating the results. In these cases, individual biases can easily influence the entire team’s decision. Think about it: if a professional prepared everything, how could he prevent his thoughts from impacting the final result? The best way to achieve this is to distribute responsibility among various team members. Assign different roles depending on their experience. In this way, they will be truly participants in the decision-making process.
You can use a task manager to make sure everyone knows exactly what they need to do and when. By involving all members in the process, you create an environment where diversity of ideas is valued and more balanced decision-making is promoted. This can lead to more informed decisions and greater acceptance and commitment from all team members. Among the methods used for this purpose, Delphi stands out. In this case, the leader is the one who reduces the possibilities obtained after brainstorming and leaves them again in the hands of the team so that they can work on them collaboratively. The process is repeated until a final decision is obtained.
8. Use a diagram to collect ideas and make decisions as a team
When you are faced with an important decision, it is essential to consider all the possible ramifications. That is, the potential results and how these would impact not only the project but the company in general. In these cases, you could generate a decision diagram. This visual tool allows you to trace the different paths and evaluate the consequences at each stage of the process. This simplifies team decision-making because it will be easier to clearly and concisely visualize how a choice can trigger a series of events, including risks and potential problems.
It should be noted that this diagram involves the entire team in exploring options, enhancing collective discussion and, therefore, building consensus. The advantages and disadvantages of each proposal can be debated and thus achieve a holistic view of the implications of the decision. This thorough analysis may take some time, but it will ultimately save the company money by allowing it to be prepared for challenges that may arise.
Improve team decision-making by putting these tips into practice.
The secret to making team decisions is, on the one hand, advocating for a space of respect and trust where all members can feel safe and, on the other, the structure. Believe it or not, to exploit the team’s true potential, management must be organized and planned. Employ a set process to facilitate shared strategic thinking.
This means thinking carefully about how you will ensure that each member invited to be part of group decisions actually participates and also how to avoid bias. Look for ways to maintain anonymity and thus open up possibilities of contribution for introverted professionals. At the same time, it relies on the introduction of dissidents to obtain an in-depth review of the edges of each solution or proposal. All these variables must be controlled by you in order to reach an informed, original and appropriate decision.