June 27, 2024

Team Decision Making: 4 Consensus Techniques Every Leader Must Learn

June 27, 2024

Team Decision Making: 4 Consensus Techniques Every Leader Must Learn

Power of Model Thinking, Popular Posts

In any industry, team decision-making isn't just important — it’s a challenging puzzle. 

Get it right, and you’ll deliver innovative solutions that impress your clients and boost your company. Get it wrong, and you risk making poor decisions that can turn off clients and damage your reputation.

As the economy and competition tighten, there will be pivots, quick thinking, and lots of action in between. You can only go so far without empowering the people behind the business.

Regardless of what’s at stake, teams must make decisions through clean data, diverse ideas, and thorough exploration. When you have to consider insights from board members, managers, team leaders, and everyday employees —  how do you ensure the best possible outcome?

Insight: Empowering teams to make smart decisions is critical in a rapidly changing and highly volatile environment.

Data: Teams that work well together are 50% more productive. (Stanford University)

What’s the step change: Improve team decision-making and collaboration by adopting consensus tactics.

Factors in Team Decision-Making

Team-based decisions bring a wealth of viewpoints and skills to the table. To effectively manage these differences, consider the following:

  • Type of Decision: Are these strategic decisions? Performance-related? About company operations? How will the team be affected?

  • Availability: What time and resources are at your disposal?

  • Task Nature: Does the team have the necessary knowledge and expertise?

  • Commitment: Is the team dedicated to seeing this through?
From there, you can map out the way that’ll take your teams and therefore your business form Point A to Point B.


How Can We Ensure Team Consensus?

It’s time to get your team on the same page and make a unified decision. Here are some techniques to ensure everyone feels heard and valued, leading to the best solution.


1. Ensure and Encourage Participation

Ever been in a meeting where one person dominates the conversation? It skews outcomes and can harm the company. 

Instead of letting one person’s perspective colour the entire experience, try the Stepladder Technique

Start with members thinking about the issue individually, then bring them in one-by-one for input. This method ensures everyone feels heard and confident in their conclusions, free from groupthink pressures.


2. Introduce Multi-Voting

Anyone who has lived through elections and endless meetings can see where we’re going here.

What happens when you get even odds or equal results? Zero conclusions.

We’ve all seen the pitfalls of equal-weight voting. Multi-voting assigns different weights to each vote. Each member then goes through all the options and assigns a weight to each solution. This encourages the group to scrutinise every option thoroughly. 

This reduces deadlock and promotes more thoughtful decisions.


3. Pinpoint Priorities

Prioritising tasks in a group can be chaotic. 

Managers often push their own agendas, creating conflict. So how fo we reach a sound resolution?

The Modified Borda Count helps rank priorities effectively, guiding the team towards the best options that align with overall goals.


4. Involve the Team in Developing a Solution

When tackling complex projects with diverse viewpoints, reaching a well-supported decision is tough. 

Hartnett’s Consensus-Oriented Decision-Making model engages the entire team in solution development. This fosters a sense of ownership and encourages creative, judgement-free ideas.


Tying It Together

Despite its complexity, team decision-making is a key path to strong decisions. 

Having a plan is great, but don’t forget the people behind the business. Remember, real success comes from empowering your team to adapt and respond to changes on the fly.

Although it takes time and practice, it’s an investment in alignment. There’s a sense of equality among the decision makers as everybody gets a chance to speak, you arrive at a high-quality decision that’s supported by the team, and there’s effective implementation due to a sense of ownership and commitment.


Get Your Teams On The Same Page Today



As a treat, get your very own copy of our guide to Crafting Consensus-Oriented Solutions for you and your team today.






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