The four values of a participatory decision-making process

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  1. The importance of a participatory decision-making process
  2. The four values of a participatory decision-making process

In the first post of the series, we talked about why have a participatory decision-making process is so important, and the value that it can bring. However, it can be quick difficult to define what that is. Fortunately, there is a set of four values that must present in each discussion or meeting or whatever the decision-making is. They are:

The four values of a participatory decision-making process are

  1. Full participation
  2. Mutual understanding
  3. Inclusive solution
  4. Shared responsibility

An in-depth analysis of the four values:

First value: Full participation

  • Participants are comfortable in sharing uncomfortable ideas and their first draft ideas
  • Participants are encouraging each other to think like that

The facilitators role in achieving full participation

  • Protect against injunctions against thinking in public (e.g. Can we go back to the topic, we are diverging, didn’t we already discuss this)
  • Build a respectful and supportive atmosphere
  • Protect against self-censorship

Second value: Mutual understanding

  • The participants understand and accept the legitimacy of the others needs and goals
  • The participants think from each other’s point’s of view
  • Dialogue is more important than persuasion
  • The participants take time to understand everyone’s perspectives

The facilitators role in achieving mutual understanding

  • Prevent the “I really can’t focus on what you are saying until I feel you understand what is my points of view” mentality
  • Help everyone realize the value of thinking from each others point of view
  • Always be impartial and honor the points of view of everyone involved. This ways, every member has the feeling that someone understands them

Third value: Inclusive solutions

  • Solutions emerge from the integrations of everyone’s perspectives, needs and goals
  • Everyone has a piece of truth
  • The solutions are not compromises, as they work for everyone involved
  • They might require the discovery of a new option
  • Innovation and sustainability of a solution are more important than the decision being expedient

The facilitators role in achieving inclusive solutions

  • Help the group find innovative ideas that result from using everyone’s point of view
  • Help the group engage in divergent thinking
  • And then build a shared framework of understanding in the groan zone
  • To, at last, converge with sound decisions

Fourth: Shared responsibility

  • Everyone is an owner of the outcome
  • Everyone is responsible for running the meeting: settings the goals, the agenda, the priorities and arriving at conclusions
  • Members must be able to implement the proposals that they endorse
  • The problem: the group relies on authority. This makes the leaders to “get on with it” and to the work themselves

The facilitators role in achieving shared responsibility

The facilitator helps the group build assertiveness, collaboration and the ownership of the decision process and outcomes.

  1. The importance of a participatory decision-making process
  2. The four values of a participatory decision-making process

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