Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday's Answer: Premature Votes

In our group there are seven officers. Four votes needed to approve. My question is how do I deal with the frustration of a vote that I believe is taken prematurely before exploring all the pro's and con's and that does not appear to be well-thought out?

Members often feel confident when leaders are decisive, even if the decisions aren't perfect. It's the old adage, "Something is better than nothing." One of the benefits of coming to decisions quickly is that much is accomplished in a short amount of time and mistakes can be fixed as you go along.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, "In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing."

However, members often feel confident when leaders take time to think decisions through. It avoids the old adage, "Haste makes waste." One of the benefits of balancing the pros and cons of decisions is that fewer mistakes are made and the leader is more prepared for whatever comes. The members trust the decisions to be the best possible because every possible angle has been considered.

Abraham Lincoln used to say that he bounded thoughts on the north, bounded them on the south, bounded them on the west and bounded them on the east before he would let go of them.
He was said to "wear thoughts threadbare."

Both types of leadership have their value and are needful. Together, we bring balance to one another in our various approaches to life.

But when you have experienced negative consequences from hastily-made decisions, then this is what we recommend to avoid that in the future:

1. Set an agenda for the meeting--that simply means to have a plan for your meeting that keeps the leaders on track and thorough. Here's more.

2. Set rules for the agenda--for example, a member or officer may submit an idea, but it won't be voted on until at least the following meeting. That provides time to pray, consider and discuss it as much as needed before the vote. Here's more.

If all else fails and you are still frustrated, speak your mind in love and then purpose to work with the decision that is made for the benefit of the group members.

Kristen & Denise

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