How do you make a decision when you are working in a team?

“Team work makes the dream works”


That’s a famous quote when applying to great teams achieve success because they started out as a team of people working together, and not based on individual effort.

This is a great quote. However, many people do not go deeper after reading the quote – into what really makes or breaks a team. Today, we would like to touch on another point: How do you make decision as a team?

If we go deeper into analyzing the structure of a team, there are many ways a team operate. It can run without a hierarchy, where people can share and contribute ideas openly, without going through channels. Of course, the opposite is normal, you need to ask for approval from several people before you can speak.

Let’s go for one real case example.

Back when I’m 25, me and my friends intend to start a printing business. His dad is in the printing business for 20 years, but he felt that he can help he dad grow his business, by using current day technology. So I partner him.

Nope, we are not buying over his dad business. My friend just want to go ahead and expand the business over to other countries, such as Malaysia, Cambodia, and Vietnam, because of lower costs.

To set up a business and everything, it starts with the location and office first. The first thing to purchase are office furniture. We go online to look for goodies like office chairs for sale, used tables, whiteboards, stationary. Next, are the office design setup.

As it is an expansion from his dad, but in his own way, he decide to go ahead and revamp his new office that is unlike his dad. That is great! But one thing: Our budget has a limit. You see, my friend wants the office to be new, different from his dad. For me, I just want an office that can operate properly. Plus, I’m a saver, and don’t encourage massive expenditure on office design.

At this stage, who should make the decision?

I’m a saver, and my intention is to get the company running and going, instead of spending too much money on other unnecessary stuffs. However, my friend insist a nice good looking office will help the improve the image, and get more clients.

This is not an easy choice. For example, when we buy office chairs, we ask for 6 quotations from suppliers. I want to make sure we have a good deal. For my friend, he suggest going ahead with the most highly quality one – just so that he can be working comfortably.

In the end, we agreed that a good enough for now will be better, and once we earn enough money, we can get better chairs. This is a ‘mid-point’ agreement we had. Do we debate? yes. But do we agree as a team? Definitely yes.

Hence, how can you make decisions as a team? Learn to compromise. Never debate based on emotions. Debate with facts, numbers and figures. Let them know your true purpose in choosing the decision. This will help you and your team members move forward in every decision you make.

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