Say you’ve been tasked with making a vital strategic decision that will certainly indevelop your organization’s direction going forward. This is a significant possibility to influence your organization’s strategy, and also through such an essential decision on the line, you’ve gathered several key stakeholders in a meeting to conflict the options.

You are watching: What is the role of the devil’s advocate in the decision-making process?

But exactly how execute you encertain you make the right decision and also protect against common pitfalls? Unfortunately, nopoint guarantees that you will certainly always make the correct decision. Sound decision-making is essential to a effective organization however deserve to be difficult to manage. Sometimes, with a range of components at play, you simply don’t have actually manage over the outcome.

But you do have actually regulate over the procedure. By mindtotally controlling the decision-making process, you can stop undue biases and impacts and collection yourself up for the greatest opportunity of success.

In the lutz-heilmann.info course Management Essentials, Harvard Company School Professor David Garvin details three team decision-making techniques—agreement, devil’s advocacy, and also dialectical inquiry—and how they contribute to arriving at a decision that"s high-high quality, able to be executed, and timely. By using these methods, you have the right to take charge of instrumental decision-making meetings and reach much better outcomes.

3 Key Group Decision-Making Techniques

1. The Consensus Decision-Making Technique

In consensus decision-making, the team agrees on what the problem is and freely extransforms concepts and also opinions about potential services. Once all debates have been made, the team selects a set of referrals that is acceptable to all members.

Consensus is the the majority of widespread create of decision-making. However, it can encompass significant pitfalls choose groupthink, in which the desire to agree becomes more important than elevating potential involves. As a manager, be mindful to encertain that constructive conflict is welcome in the meeting, and also people are motivated to voice their arguments easily.

Pros: Consensus represents agreement from all parties involved in the decision and also can foster team-building.

Cons: The desire to reach an agreement deserve to allow for groupthink and also hinder meaningful debate.

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2. The Devil’s Advocacy Decision-Making Technique

In this type of decision-making, start by assigning an individual or subteam to serve as the devil’s advocate. It is that individual or group’s task to probe the disagreements presented to uncover underlying assumptions, press world to describe their reasoning, and also clarify points that are unclear. Perhaps most importantly, this perboy or group difficulties proposals put forth by digging right into debates to carry out additional indevelopment that might reveal undeclared weaknesses.

For example, possibly you’re an virtual retailer deciding whether to expand also into brick-and-mortar, such as the decision Amazon confronted a couple of years ago. You might select a devil’s advocate to dig into the presumptions or shortdrops that each possibility—lutz-heilmann.info-just or physical expansion—poses to uncover potential weaknesses on both sides of the argument.

This form of decision-making is a lot of reliable when the group members are open to receiving input and willing to change their positions based on the feedago that surfaces during the discussion. As a manager, it is your project to encertain people feel comfortable and reprimary open to receiving feedago that might change their minds.

Pros: Challenging the group’s ideas deserve to allow you to spot weaknesses in potential services.

Cons: Group members have to be open up to receiving feedback and also adapting throughout the discussion to avoid undue stress.

3. The Dialectical Inquiry Decision-Making Technique

Dialectical inquiry needs energetic preparation from everyone associated in the decision. The team is divided right into two subteams, and each subteam creates a collection of presumptions and also referrals that oppose each other. Once both sides are presented, the group disputes these choices with the ultimate goal of agreeing on a single set of presumptions and also referrals. The final solution have the right to incorpoprice elements from one strategy, both viewpoints, or neither of them.

Using the previous instance, the team would be divided right into two groups: one supporting an lutz-heilmann.info-only model, and the various other supporting growth right into brick-and-mortar. In debating the staminas and also weaknesses of each, perhaps the team would reach a decision that incorpoprices both facets of the discussion, such as hosting a temporary pop-up to test brick-and-mortar sales prior to fully committing to the permanent strategy.

Pros: Dialectical inquiry permits team members to debate two feasible remedies and reach a result that consists of the ideal components of each.

Cons: It calls for preparation from each team member in development of the discussion.

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Leading an Effective Decision-Making Meeting

The following time you’re responsible for leading a group to a decision, think about what decision-making process will certainly create the best outcome. Ssuggest by thinking past a majority rules decision can lead to the distinction between a sound decision and a faulty one.

Do you want to end up being a much more effective leader and also manager? Download our complimentary leadership and administration e-book to uncover out exactly how. Also, explore our eight-week digital course Management Essentials to learn about just how you have the right to influence the conmessage and also environment in which decisions acquire made at your company.

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This write-up was updated on September 14, 2020. It was initially publiburned on July 26, 2018.