How to Make Decisions Like A Multiplier

Making decisions is a key leadership skill—and your ability to make good ones can make or break you. Good leaders use a decision-making process that enables them to take full advantage of the resources at their disposal.

In Liz Wiseman’s book Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, she explains, “Multipliers make decisions by first engaging people in debate—not only to achieve sound decisions, but also to develop collective intelligence and to ready their organizations to execute.” Debate can be a frightening word, especially given the contentiousness of public discourse today. But you shouldn’t let fear stop you. Not only does debate lead to better decisions; it also leads to better morale.

One of the greatest gifts you can give as a leader is to help others feel that their opinions and expertise are appreciated and valued. There is no better way to communicate this than to involve your employees in the decision-making process, even when the stakes are high.

Wiseman draws a key distinction between diminishers, or leaders that diminish the collective intelligence of an organization, and multipliers: “By assuming there are only a few people worth listening to, Diminishers operate as Decision Makers: when the stakes are at their highest, the rely on their own knowledge or an inner circle.” On the other hand, multipliers “lead rigorous debate that prosecutes the issues with hard facts and depersonalizes decisions.”

If you’re facing a big decision right now, start by asking the right questions. What is at stake? What problem are you trying to solve? What do you know, and what don’t you know? What do you hope to gain? What might you lose?

Pose your questions to a team with a diverse range of knowledge and expertise. Give them the facts. Then, sit back and listen. It’s crucial that you create a safe space in which your team feels comfortable being honest and open.

Great leaders know that they’re only as great as the people they lead. Sharing the decision-making process with others not only sends the message that you value your employees; it also increases the chances that you’ll make the best decision possible.

Are you facing a major decision that will have a big impact on your organization? I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me via my website, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *