As a small business owner, there are many ways that you can make a decision. Taking a page from the experience and expertise of others, the decision-making process can be broken down into four types:
You make the decision. Sometimes it is up to the boss to make the call and that is all there is to it. Be up-front about the situation, communicate openly about what you are doing, and then execute your decision.
You make the decision with input. You are still the one making the decision; the difference here is that you explicitly seek input from others. Let people know that you value their input and will give it serious consideration. You will still, however, be the one deciding on a course of action—and it may not be what they recommended at all.
You make the decision as a team. Working in consensus, the group reaches the decision as a whole. The process should be open and candid, and members should be treated as equals. Here, the team jointly recognizes and takes responsibility for not only their judgment but for their actions as well.
You delegate the decision to others. Let them do it! Often this is the most effective, efficient, and intelligent way to handle a problem. With confidence and trust, tell your team, "Go ahead, do what you think best and keep me informed."
There is a place for each of these approaches within your company’s standard operating procedures. However, it is important to realize that no matter how you have defined your role and responsibilities within your small business, delegating is a good thing to do. This is particularly true when it comes to decision-making.
President and Founder
Sioux Falls, S.D.
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