How to improve team decision-making

How to improve team decision-making

Read time: 2.5 minutes

How a team makes decisions often goes unquestioned.

Especially if there are strong personalities in the group.

Using the wrong decision-making style causes problems.

For example, people may agree to a decision publicly but not support it, which will cause problems later.

If you're hearing complaints about people not getting things done because decisions are taking too long or constantly being revisited, this workshop can help.

By using this process, you'll gain three things:

  1. 1
    You'll learn a new way to talk about decision-making that you can use to quickly decide which decision-making style to use in each situation in the future.
  2. 2
    You'll get a clear picture of how decisions are currently made.
  3. 3
    You'll compare this with how your team wants to make decisions in the future.

Ready to get started? Here's how, step by step:


To achieve faster, transparent group decision-making within your team.


Bring some decisions we need to make into the room.

You'll need about an hour for this workshop (depending on how many real decisions you're bringing into the room for Step 3).

Step 1 - Agree how we currently make team decisions

Start by studying and discussing the six definitions of decision-making style (download for free below).

This mini-step is about learning a common language around decision-making.

Each person takes a copy of the Decision Style Analysis template (also included in the download) and apportions percentages to the first rectangle: ‘How we make decisions’.

Blank Decision-Making Style Template

For example, if someone believes a quarter of all decisions are made due to unanimous consent, then Unanimous Consent gets awarded 25% of the rectangle.

And so on for the other five decision-making styles.

Bring the team back together and have them compare their templates with each other.

Allow as much discussion as they need to agree on a team version of the current state.

If you have a large group, you should form smaller breakout groups of 4 for the discussion to see if they can achieve a mini-consensus before bringing the whole group back together.

Decision-Making Style Template After Step 1

Step 2 - Agree how we should make team decisions in the future

The next step is to complete the second rectangle using the question: ‘How should we make decisions?’.

People may think they do it perfectly at the moment. In this case, the second rectangle will mirror the first.

Probably not, though.

As with Step 1, bring the team back together and have them compare their templates.

Allow as much discussion as they need to agree on a team version of the future state.

Decision-Making Style Template After Step 2

Step 3 - Test on some real decisions

The next step is to test our new framework and collective knowledge about decision-making on some real decisions that need to be made.

For each decision, first agree on which of the six styles to use and put the style into practice.

If it works, great!

If it doesn't, discuss why. You might choose a different style for that type of decision in the future.


Don't be afraid to change which decision-making style you use.

Iteration until you find perfection is part of the process.

Using this workshop, you will easily help your team discuss how decisions are currently made and contrast this with how they wish them to be made in the future.

It's amazing what developing a simple common language and framework around decision-making can do for a team.

That alone is worth the time you'll spend running this workshop.

Well, that's it for today.

Let me know if you use it.

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About the Author

Nick Martin helps leaders & consultants improve team results with resources, advice & coaching through