Making decisions in a group setting can be quite challenging. The group leader, in most cases, should come up with an efficient method that will lead to a practical decision. There are various decision-making methods employed by different groups depending on the group size or group type. Each way has its merits and demerits, thus, should be critically analyzed before use. Below is a method that I have used when making decisions in a small group set up.
It is an active method where all the group members have to contribute by giving the views, concerns or input in the aim of finding a solution. The group members' contribution is acknowledged, valued, and put into consideration (Harnett 1). After that, all the members reach an agreement on a decision. The decision may or may not be agreed upon by everyone, but each person decides to support it.
One of the significant merits of consensus in decision-making is that it can produce high-quality decisions (Harnett 1). All the group members in this case are actively involved in the process and work diligently to input their skills and ideas. Secondly, this method results in power sharing, where all members work together toward a common goal. Thirdly, it motivates members to stay in the group since their views are valued. Also, there are high chances of decisions being implemented since all members have given their consent. Finally, a consensus is vital when making critical decisions that affect many people.
Despite its merits, consensus has the following limitations. One, the method utilizes a lot of time and energy, hence is not suitable for urgent decisions (Harnett 1). Secondly, members should be informed early enough to prepare their views and ideas. Lastly, it is quite demanding since members have to use their skills and expertise fully.
Apart from consensus, I have also had experience with other methods as discussed below.
It is suitable in a democratic set up where the majority can implement a decision without minority involvement. This method is also efficient when the time is limited, and also where every member's commitment to the decision is unnecessary (Novak 681). This method is also utilized where the matter at hand doesn't affect every member of the group.
The method is generally employed where there is a delegation to a small group. In such cases, only a minority of the group has the necessary skills to make such a decision (Velden, Femke, Beersma, and Dreu 259). An expert in the group may also make decisions which relate to his or her area of expertise. This is usually in situations where the group interaction is seen as futile and where time is limited. It is also useful where time is limited, or where the decisions are trivial.
These are decisions upon which all the members agree (Miller 55). They are common when there are simple issues to discuss, but their use is discouraged when making critical decisions.
In conclusion, decision-making is a challenging task for any group regardless of its size. There are various decision-making methods used by groups, and each way has its merits and demerits. Consensus is a very dynamic method, especially in a small group setting. Through my experience, I acknowledge that it is an efficient decision-making method.
Harnett, T. "Consensus-Oriented Decision-Making: The CODM Model for Facilitating Groups to Widespread Agreement Gabriola Island." British Columbia, Canada: New Society Publishers (2011).
Miller, Charles E. "Group decision making under majority and unanimity decision rules." Social Psychology Quarterly (1985): 51-61.
Novak, Stephanie. "Majority Rule." Philosophy Compass 9.10 (2014): 681-688..
Velden, Femke S. Ten, Bianca Beersma, and Carsten KW De Dreu. "Majority and minority influence in group negotiation: the moderating effects of social motivation and decision rules." Journal of Applied Psychology 92.1 (2007): 259.
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