3.1 Warm-up exercise: decision preferences checklist
Time required: 45 minutes
This exercise is a way for workshop participants to identify
which of five common styles of decision-making they tend to rely on most often
in their councillor roles. As you can see from reading the checklist, the styles
vary from doing nothing at all (a decision of no decision) to the well-known
"knee jerk" reaction (ready, fire, aim).
Have participants complete the exercise before presenting them
with concept information on decision-making. This is important. The value of the
exercise is to get a true picture of how participants see themselves actually
behaving, not how they think they should be behaving.
Ask participants to complete the Decision Preferences Checklist
working alone. Give them about 15 minutes to complete the task. Explain that
there are no good or bad preferences and that any of the five might be an
appropriate response to a particular problem or opportunity.
When participants have completed their checklists, call out each
preference Decision- by name and ask for a show of hands from participants who
selected each preference as the one on which they most often rely. Record the
results on newsprint.
Initiate a discussion by asking what sorts of situations might
call for a particular decision-making preference. Ask participants to give
examples from their own council experience as recorded on the worksheets. Keep
the process moving briskly to stay on schedule.
DECISION PREFERENCES CHECKLIST
The following statements describe six typical decision-making
preferences employed by councillors the world over. Read the six preferences.
Identify the one you tend to rely on the most in your role as a councillor Mark
your preference with a checkmark in the box.
· I am patient and
wait since many problems resolve themselves without a decision being made-
· I do something immediately.
Most of the time the decision I make is the right one.
· I get as much information as
possible about the problem and its cause before doing anything.
· I discuss at length with
others if there is need for a decision at all and what the decision is about.
· I make an effort to get the
concurrence of everyone involved before doing anything. I follow the lead of the
majority or others whose opinions I respect.
Describe in the space below a situation where you, as a
councillor, had to make a decision. Describe the decision you made and the
decision preference you used to make it.
Were you satisfied with the outcome? Explain. How would you
handle it next time (what would be your decision