When Diplomacy Becomes Indecision

One of the adored traits of our modern lives is the ability to make tough calls in challenging times. In a world where empathy and other soft skills are becoming incorporated in business, diplomacy has also sprouted as a desired trait. The ability to soften your stand and make utilitarian decisions.
On the other had, as I experienced recently the need to listen to other’s views and incorporate them in your views can lead to indecision. This will occur mainly because the people you are leading don’t always make a unanimous call and you may have 2 opposing views emanating from a particular decision point.
I’m a member of a lifegroup, which is basically a group with both gender and age diversity that goes through life together, with a basis on Christian teaching. On occasions we discuss the previous sermons, take road trips and other fun activities together. The challenge began when the church that brought us together moved locations into Nairobi’s suburbs most members of our group opt for other churches closer to their homes. Since the Sunday sermon was the at the centre of our discussions we began drifting in direction and soon our weekly meet-ups soon became social gatherings. Something had to be done. I was the leader.
The options we had were either to dissolve the group, stay in the same social mode, or to begin a guide book together as a group to replace the sermon. I was for the latter idea (or i thought so) and so did majority of the members who came up with the guide book idea. We held a strategy meeting and decided to begin the guide book.

Some members felt that it was a rush decision just for the sake of it. They opted not to continue with us. Whether the guide book we are doing is a bit premature or not, only time will tell.

– Majority agreed on it
– The members opposing did not give an alternative suggestion
– The main goal of our life group was to grow spiritually and this was one of the ways we believed we could.

I’m a sucker for inclusiveness. I don’t like disagreeing with people making me one of those conflict averse types. I believe that given time everyone can ‘discuss’ and come to a common way forward.
I’ve now learnt that this is not the case. Sometimes you need to make decisions and move on. Not every one will agree. Which is still ok. Its not a bad thing to disagree on opinions. Just make sure it does not personal.

In this particular circumstance, I decided not to linger to much in “discussion” or “deliberation” mode and made the decision to move forward using the rationale highlighted above. It has given the life group a new structure, a new goal, something new to look forward to and ultimately the opportunity to grow spiritually as a group.

Deliberation is good but ultimately as a leader you have to make a decision. You cannot delegate the decision you have to make to a unanimous group vote on a way forward. After gathering all information regarding the decision, make a choice and stand by it.
People will prefer you to be decisive and timely rather than chilled out and passive. At the end, the buck stops with you!!

Leave a Comment: