5 Key factors to collective decision-making

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5 Key factors to collective decision-making

In the past two months, even with the anxiety and uncertainty, decision-making has become easier, in light of the obvious risk. The rules where clear: Wash your hands. Don’t get out, unless you need to, Mask always!. Now, while Portugal reopens, the rules that were black and white are mixed again in shades of grey. Once again, it’s up to each one of us to discover what “seems safe” and what appears to be “too risky”.

For some people, the new freedom will seem refreshing. For others, it’s a daunting responsibility. Sure, the nursery is now open, but does that mean sending your kids back? We can already work in the office but do we feel confident in doing so?

Each one of us is about to face hundreds of decisions again, big and small, how to regain our lives back on track. Obviously, it will be stressful. And with such uncertainty, it’s not realistic to say that we already know exactly what we are going to do.

When we transfer this theme for team decisions, the difficulties are even greater. Heterogeneous mental profiles, functions that require different skills, ways of working and diverse interaction requirements with others. As a team, how are we going to take full advantage of the lack of definition, to return to what will be the “new normal”?

It’s up to everyone, not just the leaders, to make this return a success. It’s important to take into account some factors, individually and collectively to avoid bad choices. By doing this, we guarantee that we achieve two things that we will need to move on to the next phase: Flexibility and some Feeling of Control.

  1. Guarantee that you and your team have the factual and necessary information. Only knowing what’s happening you’ll be able to make the best decisions in terms of who stays, who will work, how are going to connect, how are going to visit clients and other stakeholders.
  2. Take into account your emotions and those of the team. After considering the facts and advancing your decisions, pay attention to how are you feeling. Many are experiencing the best professional period of their lives… others are desperate to get back to the office and be productive again. Get close to one another, create moments of connection so that it is easier to share and to get to the decision that better serves the common good.
  3. Choose who can advise you and your team well. Find a mentor, coach, or advisor or a pair from another department in your company that is trusted and carefully chosen to support your decision-making process. Limit yourself to people who understand your team’s position and can offer a really objective opinion.
  4. Even when you already know how will you lift the confinement of your team, your actions will need to keep changing with what happens in the context. Try to keep your mindset and that of your team as flexible as possible when reviewing principles and making decisions. More than ever, it will be important to maintain the ability to adapt to change. In this context, “maybe” has to be a magic word that will take the team forward.
  5. Even though you think everything carefully you will make decisions that will not give the results you’ve expected. It will be impossible to guarantee 100% correct decisions. Instead of looking for a “perfect” decision, choose a “good enough” decision. This conviction is important to impose on you and your team, especially when there is still a lot that we don’t know about how the next few months will go.

It will continue to be difficult but focusing on these 5 key factors we’ll be doing the best we can… “with the information we have”. Connect more, do more things as a team (remotely ou in person), be more together… and you’ll make better decisions.

Article for INFORH, written by Luís Rosário Immersis Partner.