Choosing Paint as a Group

by | Aug 3, 2020 | Change |

decision making

What’s the point of discussing when there is no right or wrong decision to be made? Why bother? Can’t we just make a decision and move on because it doesn’t matter? The discussion just slows things down unnecessarily.

This understandable. I’ve likely uttered these words or similar ones before.

Now I see two things with this. First, discussing and hearing multiple perspectives helps us ‘see’ a richer picture to make a decision with. The second, more subtle thing, is a series of questions back. ‘Who is making the decision? How well does s/he listen to others? What power dynamics are at play?’

What colour to paint the house is a simple decision. However, it impacts everyone who lives in the house and ‘interacts’ with the house. And there is no single ‘right’ answer. So you could walk into a paint store, purchase the first can of paint you see or first one you like and decision is done.

Discussing paint and colour choices slows it all down. However, people are less likely to be critical of the choice is they feel ‘heard’ in the process. If they feel like their opinion mattered and was sought out.

The point of discussing issues and decisions in which there is no single right answer is to build your team and its culture. When we seek out people’s opinions and voices we build a culture in which everyone’s voice matters. In which people feel heard. We build cultures where people do not fear voicing their opinions will lead to retaliation or job loss. And we build a culture where there are less ‘meetings about meetings’ and toxic bickering. Because people feel heard and hear other views.

And while the decision process might take slightly longer, implementing the decision is much faster due to the ‘buy in’ the process creates.

If we can do this about paint and flooring choices, imagine what happens when we do it with more complex decisions.

Photo by Mika Baumeister


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