Over the course of one week, I had two team members approach me to get my input on a specific part of their ministry. One was about a logo design for a new ministry initiative that we are launching. The other was about a key decision that would change the direction of our planning process.
Interestingly enough, both asked me whether it would be best to just make the decision with a few key people as opposed to having their entire team offer input.
You have to understand that I’m a task guy. I often look to try to make decisions quickly and move on to the next thing. A collaborative process can get messy and often takes more time. Yet, I asked both team members the same key question:
What is the value added if others have input?
Did I really just say that? Wow! In some ways, it actually hurt to say those words because I knew what it would mean… a delayed decision. I didn’t want to do the thinking for them. I could have easily said that they should make the decision on their own or vice versa. However, I wanted them to think it through and come to a point of action.
I did say that I would support their decision either way.
Both decided to delay the decision and get more input. They thought the value added was enough to let more people have a say.
If you’re like me, this is a hard question to ask because it’s so easy to make a decision on my own and move on. The question, however, makes me think through the pro’s and con’s and determine what truly is the value added by getting more people to share their thoughts.
I don’t pretend to think that the value added by getting more input is always better. There are times when it does not add sufficient value, so I do just make the decision and move on. But when my two team members thought it through, there was one common answer that they both thought of that helped them make their decision:
The team would feel more ownership of the ministry if they had input.
Next time you are faced with a decision and are debating whether to just make the decision or get feedback from your team, ask the key question: What is the value added if others have input?
The answers to the question provide great perspective.
When can you see yourself utilizing the question?