Rash decisions are almost always bad decisions. When I am overly hasty in coming to some conclusion, in choosing a direction, in weighing A and B, it’s usually because I am uncomfortable. Discomfort rushes me into some decision—any decision—as a means of remedying the discomfort as quickly as possible. The relief is real, but momentary. But I’ve discovered at least one major cure for rash decisions: teamwork.
Good decision-making the discomfort caused by teamwork. Teamwork takes time, and good decision-making takes time. Good decision-making allows time to stretch on as long as is needed. Every decision is different. I must learn to listen to the question being asked. The question itself will give clues as to how long is needed to come to a sense of completion.
The bigger the decision is, the more far-reaching and long-term the impacts may be, the greater is the need for teamwork and patience. The higher the stakes are, the longer the process may need to be.
Teamwork Will Slow You Down
Don’t rush it. There’s a perfect way to slow down and avoid bad decisions: it’s teamwork, because teamwork will slow you down. And that’s a good thing. Unless you’re the kind of person who values speed and efficiency. The kind of person who likes quick decisions and quick actions and quick outcomes. The kind of person who is just ready to get on with it and get things done. In that case, the slowness that comes with a team will feel to you like a bad thing — But it’s still a good thing.
Group discernment—decision-making as teamwork—is helpful in slowing us down. In a culture that has us constantly running at 65mph, group discernment requires us to pump the brakes a bit. To take note of where we are on the road. To read the street signs. To admire the scenery as we pass by. To roll the windows down and hear the sounds of the surrounding world.
By nature, groups make decisions much more slowly, which is why so many people avoid it. Group discernment drags out the discomfort. In fact, it can often—especially early in the process—amplify the discomfort. It gets under our skin when we’re overly eager for progress and production.
Slowness is a gift—a gift most of us don’t usually ask for. At slower speeds we are able to listen more carefully to others, to God, and to our own selves. And listening is vital to making good decisions.
Slower decisions are often better decisions. If you feel the tendency to make a quick decision, (especially in something high-stakes), do yourself a favor and embrace teamwork. Let the team you down. You can thank them later.
This article on teamwork appeared here, and is used by permission.