Group Decision Making Techniques

Group Decision Making Techniques

Choosing an evening dining destination can sometimes ignite a lengthy debate within a family, resulting in either a hard-fought consensus or an unsatisfactory compromise. This scenario highlights the complexities inherent in collective decision-making, which often magnify within a professional context. The group decision making techniques detailed below aim to streamline this process.

Firstly, the process of group decision-making necessitates considerable time to accommodate a range of perspectives. This often results in the need for additional meetings, leading to scheduling conflicts and potential frustration that feed into a cycle of indecisiveness. Despite these challenges, the benefits of collective decision-making should not be ignored.

In essence, group decision-making promotes a diversity of thought that triggers innovative solutions and fresh perspectives. It gives members a platform to express their views, fostering a sense of ownership and commitment towards the final outcome. Although the process may seem daunting, the final results typically justify the effort. Moreover, with the right methodologies, teams can mould collective decision-making into an efficient, effective, and manageable process.

The Functional Model of Decision Making offers a systematic strategy to guide group decisions. It breaks down the process into four clear phases: Orientation, Discussion, Decision, and Implementation. These steps lead the group along the decision-making path, keeping the process focused and minimizing wasted time.


During the initial phase of Orientation, the group lays down the foundation for the decision-making process. The decision to be made is clearly defined, and the method for making it is established. This could involve a voting process (either requiring unanimous consensus or a simple majority) or the decision could rest with the team leader. The team needs to clearly express the desired outcome and understand the problem at hand. This phase is crucial for setting goals, ensuring a shared vision for the journey ahead.


In the subsequent Discussion phase, the team collectively gathers information about the problem and potential outcomes, establishing a robust foundation for an informed and constructive dialogue. Members are encouraged to propose ideas and solutions, which are then assessed and debated. The team considers the merits and potential drawbacks of each suggestion, contemplating potential outcomes. It’s essential to maintain diversity of thought in this phase; even under pressure to conform, members should feel empowered to voice unique perspectives, which can uncover flaws or offer innovative solutions.


The Decision phase, the following stage, is where a final choice is made. Options include having the leader make the decision, collective decision-making after consultation, assigning the decision to an individual or a subgroup, or deciding by majority vote or consensus. Regardless of the method chosen, the decision should build upon the insights gained from the Discussion phase. It’s important to bear in mind that including more individuals can lengthen the decision-making process.


In the final Implementation phase, the agreed-upon action is set in motion. The group outlines the execution plan and initiates the decision. Open communication is crucial to ensure accurate and efficient implementation of the decision. Teams should regularly review the outcomes and seek feedback on both the decision and its execution.


Group decision-making doesn’t have to be a team’s stumbling block. By adopting the Functional Model of Decision Making, teams can convert this potentially daunting task into an efficient and effective process that harnesses the collective wisdom of diverse perspectives.