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close this bookTraining for Elected Leadership - The Councillor as Decision-maker (HABITAT, 1994, 22 p.)
close this folderPart I. Essay on the councillor as decision-maker
View the documentDefinition
View the documentSummary
View the documentReflection
View the documentConcepts and ideas
View the documentBe rational!
View the documentProblem identification
View the documentAwareness and vision
View the documentReflection
View the documentProblems, symptoms and solutions
View the documentTalk to your problem
View the documentFurther analysis
View the documentQuality and acceptance
View the documentConsequences
View the documentWhat about group decision-making?
View the documentReflection
View the documentOther decision traps
View the documentMaking decisions in uncertainty
View the documentKey points
View the documentReferences

Concepts and ideas

Trying to define the Decision-maker was, for some reason, a difficult task. Perhaps it's because we couldn't make up our minds. The definition we've given your role as a decision-maker seems to ignore the decisions made by committees, groups, organizations, and communities although these kinds of decisions are very important to the elected official. But even group decisions require individual decisions by those involved. In council, for example, those who abstain from voting on certain issues are, in fact, deciding not to vote, which is a deliberate decision on their part.

What do we do about the absence of a decision which, in many cases, is also a decision? Deciding not to decide can be a very decisive moment as all of you know who have sat in the councillor's seat. Avoidance and delay are very real decision making ploys, strategies, or responses. They are also decisions even if they are decisions not to do anything about the issue or problem at hand. Sometimes they are the best kinds of decisions. Think about the deliberations of your own council. Have there been times when you were unable to come to a decision as a corporate body and later realized that it was a good decision not to decide? The business of decision making can be very complicated.