Ascendis Blog

3 Steps to Involve Others in Effective Decision Making

Leaders are important to help organizations make better decisions. This requires planning and clear communication. Sometimes people in leadership positions have meetings and ask people what their opinions are about an issue because a decision is being made. Often when this happens, the people asking for the opinions do not clearly communicate what the decision is, who will be making the decision, when the decision will be made, and what will happen after the meeting. This can be frustrating for the people who are giving their input.  

How can leaders avoid this frustration in the decision making process?

First, be clear about what the decision that is being made is, who is making it, how it will be made, who will be involved, and how they will be involved. The clearer the process the better.   

Next, think about a decision that is going to be made by your team or organization in the future.  Then answer the following questions:

  • What is the decision that is being made?

  • Who is going to make the decision? When?

  • Who has important information that could assist in the decision?

  • Is there anyone who will approve or veto the decision? If so, who?

  • Who will be involved in implementing the decision?

  • What needs to be done to communicate to others when the decision is made?

Finally,  clarify the role(s) of each person (or group of people) involved in the decision making process by using the following categories: 

  • Responsible – person(s) who makes the decision

  • Approve or Veto – person(s) who has the right to approve or veto

  • Consult – Person(s) who should be consulted when gathering the information and making decision

  • Informed- person(s) who needs to know what the decision is after it has been made

  • Supports- person(s) supporting implementation

When you think about your organization, are the people in the roles above each different or the same? If these individuals are all the same, change the status quo by going out and talking to the people within all levels of your organization. By asking a few people for their thoughts on a decision you are making, they are likely to feel flattered by your consideration and they may offer an innovative solution. 

How else can you involve others in effective decision making? To learn more, contact the Ascendis Leadership Academy to take the Organizational Leadership Skills Profile. Please contact Sue Drake at for an overview of the Profile and ways in which it may be used in your organization.