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Within one day I make many decisions.  My decisions are at many different levels.  They range from what am I going to wear today, to what is the best instructional practice for a particular student.  Any way you look at it, “It’s Up 2 Me” to come up with a final decision.  As a good leader should, many decisions are made in collaboration with others.  Each of those decisions that are made with others is at different levels.  I must quickly determine what level of decision-making I will employ.  Below are the five levels of decision-making.  I am sure you employ any one or all of the decision levels within a day, hour, or minute.  Either way, “It’s Up 2 U” to determine what level works best.

 

Level 1:
No input from others.  This level is usually reserved for emergency situations.  Something has happened that was unexpected and a quick answer is needed.  Usually you are the one who has most of the information or knowledge to make a sensible and clear decision.  Follow up is usually reserved to you and the weight of the responsibility is yours.
Level 2:
Decide after others input. This level allows others on the team to contribute to the solution.  It is clearly stated or understood that you are the one making the decision.  The decision may be part of the input from others or may not.  Follow up is reserved to you, but it is important that you inform others providing input about your decision and thank them for their time. 
Level 3:
We decide together.  This is true collaboration.  The level of urgency is not as high and there is time to think things through.  This level of decision-making is when voting may be useful.  The main focus is that everyone or both of you agrees to move forward or at least to move forward and agree not to sabotage the decision made. Follow up can be delegated to those on the team and communication is vital to the success of the decision made. 
Level 4:
Let you make the decision after my input.  At this level you give the control over to someone else  or the team.  You are a major contributor before decisions are made.  You have experience or knowledge that will help in the decision process.  What is most important is that you agree with whatever decision is decided by the other person or team.  It is up to the other person or team to have follow up.  Make sure you are included in all communication so you are not surprised with outcomes.
Level 5:
You make the decision without my input. At this level others are fully empowered.  Others know your expectations and vision.  They have worked with you enough to know how you would respond and your level of accomplishment.  Trust is given to others by you.  Follow up is completely in the hands of those making the decision.  You may be involved with the communication or you may not. 

No matter what decision level you choose you are correct.  No one level is better than another.  The most important part is making the decision to make a decision!

 

Steve

www.standtallsteve

 

 

 

"When you stand TALL you don't think small."

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Comment by Dwight Carter on March 31, 2011 at 8:00pm

Steve,


Excellent summary of the the five types of decisions. It's important for the leader to know which one to use and to share this information with the team. Thanks for sharing!

 

Be Great,

Dwight

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