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Four Ways to Make Group Business Decisions

written by: J. Smith•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 10/31/2010

Making business decisions in a group setting can be challenging. However, with these methods you can reduce the amount of frustration and confusion within the company.

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    group decisions in business One of the most important factors in running a successful business is the ability to work with others in a group setting. Every day, various decisions will need to be made in order for the business to remain functional. Letting others voice their opinions in a group setting will often boost morale and allow other workers to feel important. There are a number of methods in which decisions can be made, but here are the four most effective choices.

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    Opinions of Experts

    A popular choice for making group decisions in business is to refer to an expert on the subject. This can be either a person working within the group that has more knowledge than other members, or an external source that is in no way affiliated with the group. By utilizing the ideas of an authority on the matter, the group does not have “re-invent the wheel” so to speak, as a solution to the problem has already been resolved. However, always be sure to cite the original source instead of attempting to pass off ideas as your own.

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    Majority Opinion

    If you prefer a more democratic approach to problem solving, consider using a majority opinion when making group decisions. Each member of the team can have their voice heard, but the overall decision is based on the choice with the most votes. However, this can result in some members on the group leaving unsatisfied with the results, so you must consider whether or not a majority opinion is a good choice for the problem at hand. This can harm the overall group morale for not only the current project, but for other projects down the line.

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    Combining Individual Opinions

    Another method of making group business decisions is to combine individual opinions using a rank-based model. Present all of the possible choices to each member of the group and allow them to rank the order of the ideas from best to worse choice. After everyone has completed their rankings, determine the average rankings to see the most popular choices. This is often a good starting point for groups that are unsure where to start, as it reveals the overall opinion of the group. However, additional discussion is often useful in order to choose the most effective solution.

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    Random Chance

    While random chance is typically not the best way to make a group decision, it is often the quickest if there are time constraints on a project. With this strategy, group members simply select an option at random with the help of a coin toss or similar tool. However, this can lead to problems in the future if no discussion takes place. Without a proper discussion, potential downsides of a decision can be overlooked which can cause even larger problems down the road for the business.

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