Briefly discuss a decision-making process you would employ as a supervisor. How would you go about getting a consensus from your coworkers for a particular course of action? How would you handle it...

Briefly discuss a decision-making process you would employ as a supervisor. How would you go about getting a consensus from your coworkers for a particular course of action? How would you handle it if they wouldn't go along with your plan?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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If I were a supervisor who needed to make a decision in collaboration with others, I would try to make the decision through gathering and discussing opinions.  I would set out the issue at hand so that my coworkers could understand what the choices are (or at least the choices as I see them).  I would then ask for people to state their opinions about the best choice and explain their reasoning.  I would then ask for discussion.  I would encourage people to focus on the issues rather than on trying to defend their own proposals fiercely.  In other words, I would try to get my coworkers not to think of “my proposal” versus “her proposal” but rather to think of “Option A” and “Option B.”  This would help people discuss the issues dispassionately instead of seeing the discussion as a struggle for whose proposal will win.  I would hope to reach a consensus that everyone could at least live with even if I could not get complete unanimity.

As to your last question, the answer will be very different depending on whether the people who won’t “go along” with my plan are coworkers (equal to me in the hierarchy) or subordinates.  If the people are my subordinates, I will not be very tolerant of them if they refuse to go along.  It is my job to make the decisions and theirs to go along with what I decide. If they refused to do as I ask, I would try once, perhaps, to explain what I am asking and why.  I would hope to get them to agree with my point of view and to voluntarily do as I ask.  However, if they continue to refuse to go along, I would have to implement whatever disciplinary procedures my firm has for insubordination.  If the people who refuse to go along with my plan are actually my coworkers, I would not be able to order them to do anything.  In that case, I would have to see if we could find another proposal that would be acceptable to them and that I could go along with as well.

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