Decision Making Within Teams by Desmond Ong

Desmond Ong
Desmond Ong

Published 03/10/2018 @ Reactive Media with special thanks to Desmond Ong in Singapore 2018.


We are always confronted with decisions on almost everything in our lives and we all know that these decisions do not always come easy as choosing right from wrong. From a business perspective, these decisions always entail the productivity, money, and welfare of the organization that’s why strong leaders make sure that their level of decisiveness is effective and comes with quality rather than submitting to impulse and pressure.

Making a decision can be very daunting since this task is highly susceptible to errors, biases, and prejudice. Poor decision making can lead to long-term effects of failure on poor growth. It is important for a leader to be decisive enough and act based not only on his personal judgment but also considering all the facts on hand.

Decision-making skills correlate to the problem-solving skills of an individual.

There are people born to be decisive, however, they tend to fail on the quality of these decisions compared to those that might be indecisive yet are able to create a better assessment of the situation but lacks the will to come up with a decision.

It’s hard to weigh in the pros and cons of a situation, however, the magnitude of these effects might be lessened when a team is able to act decisively on their respective tasks without having to wait for others to decide for them.

The decisiveness of team members can greatly benefit the productivity of an organization. It enables the growth of an individual when it comes to assessing the situation and making an effort to resolve it without the need for necessary escalation.

As a leader, it is important to understand that having a team of good decision makers can make the task and projects attainable. Not everyone from the team is decisive, however, you can improve these skills by allowing your team to indulge in activities that can hone their decision-making skills.

Below are some activities you can conduct to work on any decision-making issues on your team and at the same time improve, develop and harness these skills to improve your productivity.


This activity will improve the adaptability of your team and according to the Harvard Business Review, decision-making relies on the adaptability of an individual. Adaptability is greatly referenced by the diversity of the cognitive part of thoughts which in turn promotes the development of problem-solving skills to arrive at the best possible decision. There will always be innovations on top of another, setbacks and disruptions, however, the team, its people and the organization that can easily adapt to these challenges will eventually come out on top.

Gather the team and prepare a rope and follow these steps to run this exercise.
• Form the rope into a circle.
• Split the team into two and have them step on the center of the circled rope.
• Steadily shrink the circle over a period of time at least a minute or two apart.
• Allow the team to work together and decide on how they can keep everyone inside the circle without hitting the shrinking boundaries of the rope.


This is a classic game that everyone can participate.

The goal of this game is to create the best structure and design that will prevent the egg from breaking even when dropped. Split the team into several groups and equally distribute materials like cardboard, pieces of wooden sticks, glue or tape, styrofoam, recycled papers, and scissors.

Allow each of the group to assess the materials and come up with their version of a design that will prevent the egg from breaking. This is highly effective for decision-making exercises because this will challenge them to really innovate and adapt their thinking and approaches base on the limited resources they were given to solve an almost impossible feat.

Whoever produces the best design that doesn’t break the egg even when dropped from a high place will become the winner.

At the end of the activity, create a small discussion so that the team can throw in the ideas they had to win the competition and what they could do better by the next time.


During a decision-making process, there will be multiple options presented and will eventually influence one from the other. Considering all the possibilities will create a consensus of ideas and arrive in a more neutral response to these decisions. This is a decision-making technique will weigh the level of decisiveness of your team members. It is also a great reference for their standpoint when it comes to priorities and risk management tendencies. You will be needing blank sheets of papers or cards to run this activity and follow these steps:

• Huddle the team and present the topic of discussion
• Allow the team to brainstorm on available options on how they plan to approach the issue presented.
• Let the team write down their options and suggestions on the sheets of paper.
• Form the sheets into a diamond based on the level of priority. The most prioritized option will be placed on the top while the least prioritized will be on the bottom.
• Instruct the team to keep the diamond ranking in at least 5 levels and to make sure that the middle lane will contain the neutral side of the opinions they have gathered.
• Have the team discuss why they have chosen to prioritize these specific options compared to others.
• Let the team weigh in the extremes of these options and come up with a decision


Coming up with a decision already involves a lot of consideration let alone choosing a quality decision. In this following activity, the team will have to learn how they can improve the quality of their decisions. It is imperative that the team develops the quality of their decisions since it can be very vital and significant for them in the long run. This activity is very simple to have, after presenting the issue, have the team contemplate and consider their options. Use the questions below as a guide for them to come up with the best approach to the subject matter.

You will be needing to prepare a wheel and sheets of paper to write these questions. When you don’t have a spinning wheel available, you can proceed to use a spinning bottle instead as long as these sets of questions are asked
• What makes this decision necessary?
• What options do I have?
• What are the possible outcome and consequences of these options?
• How relevant are these consequences?
• What is the best course of action base on these consequences?


Board games like chess and monopoly are heavily influenced by a series of decisions and the ability of an individual to create a quick assessment of an ever-changing setting. Having a great perception of a situation will allow an individual to develop a keen sense of reviewing details and widen their field view of the situation. Indulge the team on some of these board games from time to time to create a passive approach on improving their decision-making skills. Try having one or two of any board games handy in your office area or recreation centers to make this accessible to them anytime especially during break time.

Asian BusinessWire would like to thank Mr. Desmond Ong for this article. Published 03/10/2018 @ Corporate Training Media Singapore with special thanks to Knowles Training Institute in Singapore 2018.