HR Poradenství
The Human Factor in Decision Making

Take a real close look at who is on your team. Better yet, who is on your team, and what biases do you have with them? Do they influence your expectations? How do we REALLY make decisions? Are we really objective with the input we get from our teams? If you are human, and I think you are, there are other variables that influence the dynamics of your team, their input, how you process that input, and finally how you make your strategic decisions. Here are a few.

Top 10 Factors to be Aware of in Decision Making

  1. Hierarchy: How many companies have you been in where you heard “yes boss, of course boss”. In other words, you’re the boss, the decision is yours. How many companies have you been in where the boss did not have the best expertise to make the right decision, but made the decision because either nobody else dares speak up, or they did not want to take the responsibility for making THAT decision.
  2. Our personalities: Do assertive, vocal, extroverts always have the best ideas? Do the passive, quiet introvert always have nothing to contribute? Perhaps the best solution? See where I am going with this? Who do you listen to?
  3. Clarity: I have the best solution, but cannot formulate it clearly. My colleague is crystal clear about their horrible solution. Who wins? Who do we listen too?
  4. Power: “I am the boss, you are not, and therefore I know best?” Really? All of the time?
  5. Persuasiveness: I have a great proposal, but I cannot sell it. I cannot be persuasive.  So my GREAT idea goes to great idea waste land. Can you help others persuade you when you spy a great idea?
  6. Hidden Agendas: A decision-making roadblock! Can you recognize self-serving proposals?
  7. Likability:  “I sure do like Richard, I like his idea. I do not like Andrea; I do not like her idea”. Who actually had the best solution?
  8. Meeting facilitation: Are you facilitating everybody in your team meeting, or just the active participants.  As a facilitator you need to make sure that everybody is heard, when they have something to offer.
  9. Group Think: “I think we can all agree that this is the right decision all the SMART people raise your hand for yes”. “All you disloyal trouble makers who think otherwise please I.D. yourself”. If the majority thinks it is a good idea, it MUST be true?
  10. Company culture: How does your company operate? How does that influence your meetings? Is that company culture influencing in a positive way, negative way, or has no impact on meetings, types of proposals, and what you do with those proposals?

Once you are able to see and observe the different factors at work, here are the steps to follow when making your decision.

10 steps to an effective decision-making structure

  1. Establish S.M.A.R.T. Helicopter Target that is aligned with your strategy, values, and stakeholders
  1. Ask For expertise or get the expertise: Who has the expertise to provide me with the best solution?
  2. I Propose/ What do you propose? Exchange proposals that support your target.
  3. Arguments: Careful here. How are people supporting their arguments? Are they using:
    • Ethos: Trustworthy and credible
    • Logos: Logical facts (not opinions)
    • Pathos: Emotional arguments
  1. Strategy: What will be our strategy to hit are target?
  2. Action: Start the facilitation. Note: A disturbing high number of meetings that I have observed jump to this step without even knowing the target (step #1)
  3. Support: How will we support our decision and get others to support?
  4. Reward: How will we reward successful implementation. Note: many companies skip this step altogether, and then wonder why implementation suffers. Sometimes a simple thank you is enough!
  5. Have an agreed clear action plan for implementation.
  6. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and be ready to adapt!

Good Luck!

Joel H. Cooper