Be willing to make decisions. That's the most important quality in a good leader. Don't fall victim to what I call the Ready- Aim-Aim-Aim Syndrome. You must be willing to fire.

-- T. Boone Pickens Decision making processes are essential in today's working world. In order to compete in the innovative and technical businesses of today future managers must be able to make critical decisions, some expeditiously and some with great care. Managers must be able to be proactive, make decisions and be able to live with the consequences and how they will affect the company as a whole. Managers who can use the right decision making styles at the right time are more valuable to their employers. Decision making is an important component of critical thinking is.

It is important that the decision making process chosen is completely understood so it can be fully understood by all members of the team. There are several types of decisions making models such as "Democratic" where majority vote will decide the action." There is also a style called, "Autocratic", with this model the leader "maintains total control and ownership of the decision." The leader is also completely responsible for the good or bad outcome as a result of the decision." (1997 Leadership Management Development Center, Inc. ) Whichever model is chosen it should be tailored to fit the specific the issue at hand. Talented managers know how to base their decisions on the requirements and needs of the company. The concepts are especially important to all employees in the leadership capacity. The decision making technique I have decided to illustrate is "Consensus Decision-Making." When this model is chosen the leader gives up total control of the final decision.

The entire group is responsible for the outcome. All team members must "buy-in on the decision." A benefit of this method is that the entire team takes responsibility for the outcome and everyone has a stake in the result. This technique involves all team members contributing their ideas and all of their concerns being addressed. In the end they should all must support the decision. With a consensus all members don't have to agree but all must feel they have been allowed to freely express their opinions, and they must feel that they have been heard. The disadvantage of ths method is how time consuming this method can be and getting everyone to work together without too much conflict.

Still, the final decisions are more accurate because so many different perspectives are involved. (1997 Leadership Management Development Center, Inc. ). According to Wikipedia.

com "Consensus decision-making process involves identifying and addressing concerns, generating new alternatives, combining elements of multiple alternatives and checking that people understand a proposal or an argument." Consensus decision making is also call a form of "grass root democracy", because it can give more power to minorities and those who are not very good at debating. Everyone must be able to contribute even if they feel they are out numbered. Although everyone does not have to agree in the end everyone must be given an chance to speak his mind. (Wikipedia. com, updated: July 25, 2005). In order to have a "healthy consensus decision making process" dissent is encouraged near the beginning; this takes full advantage of the chances of accepting the comments of minorities.

Often someone is assigned the role of "Devil's Advocate" to make sure the opposing side is properly represented. In the consensus model common decisions can sometimes suspected to be a sign of, "undue persuasive power, inability to comprehend alternatives, or impatience." (wikipedia. org) The consensus model has been used as far back as the Native Americans/First Nations, before the first contact to Europeans. This model was also used in the Spanish civil War and the revolution, and the majority of anarchist groups used consensus as their most important decision making device. Also early in the 17 th century Quakers used consensus.

It is constantly being modified so it can continue to be used in an array of situations today. (wikipedia. org) The roles that guide the consensus meetings are: The facilitator - aids the group in defining decisions that need to be made The Vibes-watcher - comments on group feelings and member participation. The recorder - Takes notes and watches the time. (. org) Recently, I have had to facilitate a team that utilized the Consensus method.

There were 12 people on the team from all different departments of the facility. From housekeeping to the hospital administrator. We have to come up with the easiest way to implement an annual update on policies and procedures for all hospital staff. Whenever we need all staff to complete a training it came be very difficult due to the 12-hour 3 days a week work schedules and the fact that he hospital is open 24 hours a day.

We had to come up with the best and more efficient way to make sure all the staff got the training they all needed for our Joint Commission Accreditation of Hospital Survey which is coming soon. If our hospital does not pass this accreditation we will be in big trouble. We met five times and came up with what we thought was a great ideal. We would have the trainings 2 twice a day for two days at each facility and the staff members that didn't or couldn't attend would get a take home annual update test.

It turned out great. Good decision making techniques are essential to all facets of life. There are a variety of methods to be considered, methods that factor in time constraints and the accessibility of information. These skills must be developed if any individual is going to be successful. When you have a better understanding the decision making processes, clearer and more intelligent decisions can be made which in turn can lead to healthier and happier lives. References: Retrieved from world wide web: July 24, 2005, web decision-making#Purpose Retrieved from world wide web: July 24, 2005, web from world wide web: July 24, 2005, web from world wide web: July 25, 2005, web from world wide web: July 25, 2005, web.