The ability to work with others to evaluate options, make collaborative decisions, and establish vision statements.
What is it?
Shared Decision Making is the process of using logic and reason to evaluate or critique various ideas or concepts, as well as building a collaborative vision for the organization. It requires the ability to weigh the relative merits of one idea over other ideas.
Why is it important?
Organizations are only a few bad decisions away from failure and decline. Every major decision must be analyzed and thought out. Employees who have skills in this area are invaluable to companies. Strong decision making can help establish a vision for the group, facilitate a structure of shared governance, and implement structures & processes that improve team and organizational performance. Thinking clearly and making collaborative, reasonable decisions are the hallmarks of a great leader.
- Define the Ideal Solution
Before making a decision, we must specifically define the characteristics of our desired outcome. For example, when drafting a schedule, a nurse manager might determine that the biggest priorities are a schedule with which 1) the best service can be provided to patients and 2) the assigned nurses will have enough energy to complete the work. Those two criteria can be defined in detail and then used to evaluate the options. Many people leave this step in the problem-solving process out thinking that the criteria are obvious. They usually aren’t.
- Critique Options
The various options that are being considered need to be critically and explicitly evaluated. In particular, each option needs to be directly identified and vetted with a cost benefit analysis. Collectively lead the effort to organize a written list of the pros and cons for each of the possible solutions in order help your team identify the best option.
- Get Input from Others
Many of us think that managers have to bear the full responsibility for making decisions. While that may be true, we should still strive to get input from as many people as possible. Others may have been in a similar situation and have great insight to share. Asking people for their perspective can help us see things that we may have overlooked. The most important decisions about, for example, hires or scheduling should get as much input as possible. This input-seeking dynamic can also create a shared governance that involves not only managers but also nurses.