When Not to Insist on a Decision

Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

Conventional wisdom holds that a flawed decision is better than no decision. After all, you can always change direction.

But, in an attempt to appear decisive, leaders may prematurely push for an answer. And if there isn’t a clear consensus and obvious conclusion, they’ll provide one.

This undermines a team’s ability to make a collective decision.

Pretty soon people stop participating because they assume you’ve made up your mind in advance.

If you can’t agree, don’t impose an answer. Instead, end the discussion by putting a process in place that yields decisions—even slowly-made ones—that everyone can accept. That way you won’t lose your people’s goodwill next time around.

Today’s Management Tip was adapted from “How to Cultivate Engaged Employees” by Charalambos A. Vlachoutsicos.

To read that article and join the discussion, please click here.

Also, be sure to check out the new book Management Tips from Harvard Business Review, based on HBR’s Management Tip of the Day.


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