Far too often, business leaders and managers try to get a consensus regarding important decisions. Yet waiting to get 100% agreement can hinder business growth and may even cripple the entire organization. Decide early: Is the goal to make the right decision or to have 100% consensus?
Being a decision-maker in an organization comes with significant responsibility and risk-taking. And, that can add additional stress when the stakes are high. Naturally, we strive to be respected as leaders and have our teams align when choosing one of the paths at a crossroads. Alignment does not always mean that everyone agrees. It just means that you have clearly communicated the objectives and that you and your team are aware that not every decision is unanimous.
Sometimes, getting consensus on a decision that has the potential to greatly affect your business and the team can be difficult. And when the risk and reward are high, the pressure to get 100% buy-in increases. Leaders are tasked with difficult decisions and being aware that your team may have fears and limiting beliefs needs to weigh in on the gap between consensus.
Waiting for Consensus Can Slow You Down
When a decision has to be made – especially one that is more important than usual – team agreement can appear more necessary. With any choice, there are usually upsides and downsides. Making the right decision can be a complex process and when it involves multiple stakeholders, it can become even more complicated. The bigger the stakes and the more people involved can also mean more time required to reach a decision.
If you find it difficult getting 100% consensus from your team on critical decisions or if you have been forced to postpone decisions that you know are right for your company, it can cost you time and even profitability.
Two Ways Delay Can Be Costly
When you delay a decision waiting on consensus, the clock still ticks. Waiting can cost you a business opportunity, profits, valuable time and can even impact your reputation as lengthy decision making tends to show a lack of decisiveness.
Generally, there are two types of errors in decision-making. The first error is where you miss a great opportunity. This error is called “error of omission” and refers to not pursuing an opportunity.
The second type of error is an “error of commission“, which happens when you engage in a bad project. Having the fear of committing this kind of error can keep you from making necessary decisions.
Both errors of commission and omission can negatively impact your business and your team’s morale.
How To Make A Decision Without 100% Consensus
Getting everyone on board with your plan, while desired, is not always possible. Here are some tips to keep your business moving forward:
The Key Takeaway
Waiting for 100% consensus takes time, can damage your leadership ability and, in many cases, is not necessary in order to move your business ahead. By coaching your team, having targeted dialog and communicating the importance of moving forward, everyone can gain from the decision and ultimately the outcome.