Group Decision Making
Group decision making is a process and a
tool that helps to
identify and bring together all the available alternatives to any
context that requires solutions or changes. It creates
the space and time to jointly analyze and
the most suitable and realistic solution.
The planning part of a group decision making process is
Bringing a group together to make decisions involves
developing a framework that fosters everyone's participation and
contribution in an ethical and equal way. It is also the process that
constructs a shared foundation of collective
of expertise, perspectives, differences of opinions etc. The
process is done in a facilitative style and careful
planning is needed in terms of choosing the content, how to
approach it, which tools and resources are needed to support
Here's your two-fold approach in facilitating a successful group
decision making process;
a framework that
clearly identifies goals, topics of discussions and desired
outcomes. Include a column of known-alternatives/information. This
gives a chance to the group to further explore and/or build upon
resources and best practices.
the exploratory, analytical and facilitation tools. Make use of as many
tools as possible. And by visual tools we don't mean powerpoint
presentations. The selected tools must help produce a visual thinking
process and help design
a participatory agreement on the identified and
alternatives to make a decision. Some of the tools you may use
are fishbone diagram,
nominal group technique, problem solving techniques
The process of reaching a decision is
sometimes more important than the decision itself. If there's very
discussion or debate, very limited alternatives that only benefit the
individuals of the group, it really becomes a dishonest exercise that
carries a fancy tag. In order to avoid this, you need
build your role as a facilitator/moderator of the group decision making
process. Facilitation is a skill and skills can be learned.
following tips are designed to enhance your facilitation
- Make sure you
provide equal participation opportunities to everyone in the group
off you manager's hat and become a facilitator; you role is to support
an effective and fruitful thinking and analysis process.
- Remain impartial
- Establish ground
rules right from the beginning of the process
- Be flexible- even
though you have a framework for the process you need to able to embrace
changes and new ideas.
- Use icebreakers to
create an informal and comfortable environment.
- Be honest and
transparent-"practice what you preach"
- Facilitate the
process without assuming the end result
- Continuesly remind
the group the goal of the process
Group decision making is a very empowering process that
ensures everyone has a say and offers equal contribution and expertise.
However, there are a few dangers related to a group decision
Group characteristics have a direct
impact on the quality of
the process and on the result of decisions; groups that are
manipulate the decision making process; they tent to seek an
unhealthy consensus that limits alternatives and options.
Some of the indicators suggest process manipulation are:
- Lack of discussion or debate.
just agrees with one another.
- They are very limited alternatives discussed.
Group Decision Making Related Articles:
Second Decision Making
Decision Making Process