When you need to make a decision that requires other people’s input, take these steps to ensure that you make the best decision in the least amount of time:
Schedule a team meeting. Send along an agenda that describes the decision you must make and why it is important. Provide any relevant background information, and ask participants to review it and come prepared to make a decision during the meeting. Also assign action items if you need people to bring specific data or conduct research.
Prepare attendees for the role they will play. Do this in the initial meeting invitation. Explain how attendees will contribute. Will you vote and allow the majority to win? Do you need a unanimous decision? Or will you collect feedback and someone else, perhaps you, will make the final decision?
Conduct an honest discussion. During the meeting, ask everyone to share their concerns. Weigh the pros and cons, and surface underlying issues. Talk about how the decision will affect stakeholders and other potential consequences.
This is the point where you lay everything out on the table. Make sure you discuss how to overcome challenges. While you aren’t in planning mode yet, you want to begin thinking about your options.
Decide and move into execution mode. Once you make a decision—whether that is during or after the meeting—establish expectations and assign action items. As soon as possible, meet to discuss your strategy for moving forward.