I tend to work with very smart people. People with answers to difficult questions. People who tend to be correct most of the time. Not all of the time, but most.
And these people tend to be leaders of – or within – their organizations. Leaders who know what to do. Yet they also know that the more people contribute to a decision, the more “buy-in” or commitment they will have to that decision. I call this “fingerprinting”. The more people can see their fingerprints in the final decision, the more likely they will endorse, support and carry out that decision.
It’s a fine line. As a leader, if you have already made your decision, please do not open up the decision-making process for input – only to have the team confirm your decision. (And if they don’t confirm your decision, you have a real mess on your hands!).
If you are leaning one way or the other, let the team know that you want their opinions, but you are going to make the final decision. And if you truly want to build a consensus, then be willing to be one voice among many – wrestling with the best option.
What do you do to ensure people’s fingerprints are on an important decision?
Photo Credit: Canstockphoto.com