Not long ago, I read about a survey of workers in the United States who were asked if they could work harder on the job than they currently were. 85% of those surveyed said that they could. And more than half claimed that they could double their effectiveness “if I wanted to.”
– F.W. Woolworth
I don’t know about you, but I want the people I lead to “want to” be as effective as they possibly can all the time. I’ve been writing about a unique way to engage employees and to make decisions called 1-2-3.
As our business grew, I saw how the participative leadership style (Engage2Lead employing the 1-2-3 leadership tool) profoundly impacted the alignment and performance of our team.
It just so happens that using the 1-2-3 decision-making process will significantly increase your team’s “want to” as well!
What is 1-2-3?
1-2-3 is a unique approach to the decision-making process defined as:
At the very beginning of the decision-making process – AND before making a decision – the empowering leader seeks input from his or her employees. Such a leader asks:
1. Who can help me make a better decision?
2. Who will have to carry it out?
3. Who will be impacted by it?
The answers to the three questions above will guide leaders to assemble the right people and involve them, as appropriate, to help make important decisions.
The power of 1-2-3 is available to any leader, if they simply follow this approach as they make important decisions in their organization. Could I suggest to you that the benefits of such an approach are worth the effort? I know, because I’ve seen the outcomes: better decisions are made, and teams become more effective and efficient.
Every leader can develop an engaging team who “want to” by taking three final steps in the 1-2-3 decision-making process.
1. Make the Final Decision
Remember: This is not decision-making by a committee. You, as the leader, must still decide to make the final decision.
Making the final decision is your right and responsibility as a leader, and just another step in the 1-2-3 process.
Ultimately as the leader of my company, I made the final decision. But my decision-making was informed by the research and recommendations of our team members. The end results were a good decision and a supportive and aligned team!
Now it’s time for you to make it. Yes, you still must decide.
2. Provide Timely Feedback
Giving your people feedback on the what and the why of a decision is critical, especially if it goes against some of the information, advice and/or recommendations they provided.
It keeps them involved in the process and committed to the results.
And it helps your people to feel that their involvement and thoughts shared did not go into a “black hole”.
It also gives you a chance to recognize and thank them for their contributions during the process, and to solicit their help in implementing the decision. After all, the job isn’t done when your decision is made…the decision still needs to be implemented (the how) and your team must remain committed to ensure smooth implementation.
3. Manage the Change
Using the 1-2-3 decision-making process equips you to make the best possible decision.
Providing your team with feedback prepares them to implement the decision you have chosen in an efficient and effective way.
And the 1-2-3 puts you in the best possible position to manage implementation of the decision and change by continuing the 1-2-3 process through regular exchanges with team members and reviews (intermediate mile-stones) of progress.
Progress with 1-2-3
Even though using 1-2-3 takes longer on the front-end than other ways of making decisions, it saves you as much (or more) time on the back-end. In fact, 1-2-3 facilitates progress for two simple reasons:
1. You have made a reasoned decision based on more and better information than you would have collected on your own; and
2. The process keeps your people moving forward instead of having to backtrack or go sideways because of decisions reached without their commitment and support.
As you can see, it’s important for leaders to fully tap the power of the 1-2-3 process by: making the final decision, providing feedback to your team, and managing the change created by your decision. When you do, you’ll be well on your way to doubling the effectiveness of your team, by motivating your team to “want to” and to “give it their all.
– Vince Lombardi
How might 1-2-3 help you make better decisions and ease implementation of decisions you make so your people will “want to”? How well do you give your people feedback once you make a decision? Please give us your comments <here> and share this article with a friend or co-worker.
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