Cover Image
close this bookTraining for Elected Leadership - The Councillor as Decision-maker (HABITAT, 1994, 22 p.)
close this folderPart II. Workshop on the councillor as decision-maker
View the documentOverview
View the document3.1 Warm-up exercise: decision preferences checklist
View the document3.2 Trainer presentation
View the document3.3 Exercise: good and bad decisions
View the document3.4 Simulation: the allocation decision
View the document3.5 Case study: a central bus park for Rumai
View the document3.6 Skill transfer exercise

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.


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 preference)?