Unpopular Decision Making

Wed, Dec 10, 2008


The model for making unpopular decisions is AADD as explained below.

A – Accept the reality

It is important to understand what implications your decisions may have on the organization especially if the decisions are tough and may prove unfavorable to the employees. Come to terms with reality. Accept that the situation is critical and requires special attention. Think about the pros and cons of your decisions.

A – Articulate your vision

What will your decision imply to those whom it will affect? Will it bring them a loss or promise a gain? Every effective leader must share the bright and the dark side of the outcomes of tough decisions. Unless your people know what’s in store for them ‘“ be it good or bad ‘“ you cannot get their buy-in. Communication is at the heart of the success of unpopular decisions. A strong and effectively communicated vision will be infectious, stimulating, and attractive to others and it will motivate them to achieve business goals and aspirations. People rally around leaders with a compelling vision and a clear sense of purpose. Connect with your employees by sharing a clear sense of purpose. Articulate your vision in their language. Tell them about the short and long term implication of accomplishing the vision. Effective communication requires that you understand the thinking styles of those you are communicating with. Are your team members analytical, quantitative? Then provide numbers. Are they emotionally-driven? Come with anecdotes that convey your message. If they are ‘big picture’ oriented, don’t bore them with details.

D – Invite a dialogue with your employees

Unpopular decisions should be taken along with the employees and not in isolation. When the employees participate equally in the decision making process, it leads to consensus building. Invite your employees for a dialogue. A dialogue emphasizes cooperation in sharing information and airing differences. It provides an opportunity for new ideas to emerge. It also affects how members experience the process and the value of their contributions. It leads to complete buy-in where everyone is reasonably comfortable with the decisions. It builds trust and motivates the employees to achieve the shared vision.

D – Deliver your vision

Once your employees and you have consensus over tough decisions, deliver it. Chart out an execution plan in collaboration with your employees.

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