People are social creatures…with interesting approaches to making decisions
Dealing with Other People: Making Business Decisions
People are social creatures:
- we live with one another,
- we live near one another in community, and
- we ‘work with’ one another.
The actions we take at work affect and influence one another. The thoughts we share about work affect one another.
People approach work with differing attitude. Some of us are more serious about work than others. Put another way, for some people work plays an important role in their lives while for others it does not.
Work-life involves a continuous string of dealings with other people.
Boiling it down…we can choose to view other people:
- as very distinct and different (every Man is a stand-alone island),
- as very similar to us,
- as ‘things’ that can help us achieve our goals, and
- as individuals who are doing their best to deal with their challenges and to achieve their goals.
We may view certain people one or more of these ways while viewing other people in entirely different ways.
In business, we must ‘work with people’ to achieve what we hope are common work-goals. When we work with people, Decisions can be made 3 ways: Command-Consultative-Consensus. [I favour a 10-3-1 approach.] Command decisions are made by one person, the person with authority. Consultative decisions are made by the person with authority after gathering ideas from others (without being obligated to use any or all of those ideas). Consensus decisions are ‘democratic’ decisions made by groups of people, who commit to follow the group decision after it is made.
Overlapping these 3 decision choices, business people can treat one another 3 ways:
- as ‘tools/things’ requiring instructions (essentially, components of process),
- as people requiring help (so they can do better in the immediate term and/or in the future), and
- as objects of criticism (that is, telling or showing them where they are thinking inaccurately or acting badly).
As a business leader…
How do you think about your people?
How do you make decisions?
How do you communicate about the way decisions should be made at your organization?
How do you know your people understand your decision-making process?
How do you cover off the fact sometimes you will be wrong?