Leveraging Feedback for Better Decision Making
Good decision making is critical at any stage of a career. But it’s not easy to master. We are faced with tons of decisions every day. Sometimes, it’s important to act quickly, while at other times it’s necessary to gather feedback and give the matter more thoughtful consideration. It’s no secret that feedback is an important asset in the workplace. When done well, another perspective not only sparks individual growth and self-improvement but also leads to team and company-wide change as well.
Imagine being in a meeting and hearing, “We’re going to make this decision before we leave the room with input from everyone present.” Wouldn’t every single team member feel valued for what they have to say and contribute?
The art of good decision-making entails gathering input and perspective from your team, and then pushing towards a final decision in a way that makes it clear that all voices were heard. Input from others will help you get to the right decision faster, and with buy-in from the team.
Gathering plenty of input from key players before making a final decision is essential for sustained success. Decision makers may be hampered by experiences in their backgrounds, prejudgments and self-interest, all of which can lead to flawed decisions. The additional perspectives help expose errors in the process that you as the sole decision maker may make. If provided effectively, feedback can inspire, uplift and motivate the decision maker to make better decisions.
If you want honest feedback, it’s important to let your team members know that their voices really do matter. Make sure you create a culture where everyone is encouraged to speak honestly and has a chance to weigh in on decisions. It’s important for managers to leverage a team’s capabilities and motivate team members. Getting employee input in the decision-making process also serves the dual purpose of creating a culture that values transparency and its employees’ opinions.
When seeking input from others, be specific about what you need. The more context and details you provide, the better. Clear expectations ensure everyone is on the same page. Recognizing the gaps in your own knowledge will also help bring differing opinions to the table. Encouraging group debate and challenge helps ensure that opposing points of view have been heard and understood. Team members will be more engaged and more aware of the impact of their decisions. The right process can be powerful for all those involved.
Incorporating feedback allows us to test our ideas. We can see what our assumptions are and where they might go wrong. Not to mention a decision reached collaboratively, instead of being handed down, has a positive impact on team dynamics and company culture as well.
Be sure to thank your team after making a decision, and to explain the decision that was made and why. This will make the team feel even more empowered and valued. And it helps create an environment where people want to contribute and will give you their best ideas.
Feedback can be a great tool in the workplace. Not only does it give you insight into individual behaviors but it can also provide opportunities for growth and innovation. The practice of asking for and giving feedback is not only critical for development but for decision making as well. Seeking input from team players in the decision-making process is a way to make the most the most of your employee’s ideas and talents. Drawing upon the diverse range of interests, experiences and backgrounds in order to make a decision often allows you to look at the problem in different ways and to come up with better and more innovative solutions. Being an inclusive leader and soliciting those different voices will help you get to the best ideas and decisions.