Be constructive, not destructive.
When you are a participant in collaborative decision making, communicate and convey your ideas in a constructive manner. Doing this enhances the clarity of your ideas, makes them more impactful and makes other team members more likely to align to your thoughts and suggestions.
Destructive behaviours such as talking over people, not considering other viewpoints and clinging onto your own ideas regardless of collective opinion and value can damage team morale. This skews team alignment as personal divides begin to manifest which can lead to a deterioration in the team's collective decision making ability. Being constructive, individually and collectively means arriving at the best and most practical proposed solution based on the solution's individual merits and not allowing external factors such as personal opinions and relationships with others to influence the value and merit of any proposed solution.
We always want to have a team that is aligned, where morale is good and where we arrive at the right decisions, for the right reasons. This makes sure the team is effective at adding value to the business and embodies a positive environment where people feel happy in their work. This also fosters a collaborative culture where any potential gaps in the decision-making process are filled by team members feeling empowered to influence decision making in the most positive and constructive way. Being constructive, not destructive leads to better aligned teams, greater engagement from team members, less stress and an environment where people feel more valued. All of the above also helps make discussions and decision making ceremonies more efficient, less fraught and from experience, arrival at the desired outcome much quicker.
When to apply
- When you have thoughts, ideas or potential solutions that you have reflected are viable and carry as much, preferably greater weight than those currently being proposed.
- When the team are in a state of deadlock and are struggling to come up with any potential solutions to a problem.
- In the above scenario it can be useful to set the ball rolling for collaborative decision making by simply pitching a solution.
When not to apply
- When you feel your potential solution is less effective than those already being discussed and introducing it could simply muddy the waters of the collaborative decision making process.
- When you don't have a good or full understanding of the problem the team is collectively trying to solve.
- When personally, in any given moment your mood is not conducive to constructive behaviours and you feel this mood or external factors could influence detrimentally your ability to convey your thoughts and any potential misgivings constructively. In this scenario you should feel comfortable enough to ask the team if they could reconvene when you are feeling better.