Encouraging trust in team decisions can have many benefits, including:
- Increased buy-in from the team.
- Better ideas and solutions.
- Empowerment of employees.
- Skill development.
Even with all the benefits, many leaders are reluctant to do it. The most common reason is the fear of losing control. Leaders fear that if they include their teams in the decision-making, then they may decide to go stray down a path where the leader is not comfortable. This fear is understandable in that the leader has a vision and wants to steer the company in that direction.
Build Trust in Team Decisions
Group decision-making requires trust which takes time to develop. Open and candid conversations about the pending decisions should occur, then avoid making changes afterward without discussion. Trust can be built by strengthening the relationships through coaching sessions, but it can also be built through making several smaller decisions as a team.
In parenting, it is common to say you should only give choices in which you will also be happy. For example, “Do you want to put yourself to bed, or would you like me to help you?” The child needs to go to bed regardless, but it is up to them how they will do it. You can use a similar action with teams. For example, “We are moving offices to this new location. How would you like your team area set up?, What equipment do you need?” The team is empowered to find a solution, but they are still moving to the location and sitting in the area that was chosen for them.
Although mutual determination of goals is ideal, there will always come a time when the leader and the team do not agree. In these instances, it is ultimately up to the leader to make the final decision. If the relationship and trust is strong enough, then it can handle the leader “pulling rank” from time-to-time. The leader must first listen and truly consider the options or objections proposed by the team.
Trust is a cornerstone of our Results-Centred Leadership program. Visit our site to learn more.