# In Mixed-Company Chapter Eight by 20Izr28

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```									  In Mixed Company
Chapter Eight
Effective Decision Making and
Problem Solving

Speech 140 Chapter 8 Effective   1
Decision Making and Problem
Multiple Sequence Model:
Phases of Decision Making
• The multiple sequence model pictures
groups moving along three activity tracks:

Speech 140 Chapter 8 Effective   2
Decision Making and Problem
Multiple Sequence Model:
Phases of Decision Making
• Groups on the unitary sequence path
proceed in the same step-by-step fashion
toward a decision.
• The second path is called the complex
cyclic, these groups engage in repeated
cycles of focusing on the problem, then
the solution and back again to the
problem.
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Decision Making and Problem
Multiple Sequence Model:
Phases of Decision Making
• Solution oriented, here the group launches
into discussion of solutions with little focus
on an analysis of the problem.

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Decision Making and Problem
Functional Perspective:
Being Systematic
• Discussion that follow some systematic procedure tend
to be more productive and result in better decisions than
relatively unstructured discussions.
• The drawbacks to unstructured group discussion include:
aimless deliberations that are time-consuming and
inefficient; premature focus on solutions.
• These five functions are problem analysis, establishment
of evaluation criteria, generation of alternative solutions,
evaluation of positive consequences of solutions, and
evaluation of negative consequences of solutions.

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Decision Making and Problem
Problem Identification:
What’s the Question
• The problem should be formulated into an
open-ended question identifying what type
of problem the group must consider.
• Once the problem is phrased as a
questions of fact, value, or policy, and
ambiguous terms should be defined.

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Decision Making and Problem
Problem Analysis:
Causes and Effects
• The group researches and gathers information
on the problem defined, tries to determine how
serious the problem is what harm or effect
problem produces, and what causes the
problem.
• Although analyzing the problem is important and
should be undertaken before exploring potential
solutions, analysis paralysis, or bogging down
by analyzing the problem too much, can also
thwart effect decision making.
• It prevents a group from ever getting on with
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Decision Making and Problem
Solution Criteria: Setting Standards
• Criteria are standards by which decisions and
solutions to problems can be evaluated.
• The group should establish criteria for evaluating
solutions before solutions are suggested.
• Not all criteria, however, however, are created
equal. The group must consider the relevance
and appropriateness of each criterion.
• The criteria should be ranked in order of priority.

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Decision Making and Problem
Solution Suggestions:
Generating Alternatives
• The group brainstorms possible solutions
without evaluating any suggestions until
the best alternatives are likely to have
emerged.
• Once a list of ideas has been generated,
the group should clarify any ambiguous or
confusing ideas. Ideas that overlap should
be consolidated into a single idea.

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Decision Making and Problem
Solution Evaluation and Selection:
Deciding by Criteria
• Explore both the merits and demerits of
suggested solutions.
• Consider each solution in terms of the
criteria established earlier.
• There are three decision-making methods
that are used to make solution choices:
majority rule, minority rule, or consensous.

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Decision Making and Problem
Solution Implementation:
Follow-Through
• A common failing of decision making groups is
that once they arrive at a decision there is not
follow-through.
• Force field analysis is none method for planning
implementation of a group solution or decision.
• Using force field analysis groups brainstorm a
list of driving forces, those that encourage
change, and restraining forces those that resist
change.

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Decision Making and Problem
Five ways to reduce resistance to change and
consequent restraining forces impeding solution
implementation
1. People are more likely to accept change when they
have a had a part in the planning and decision making.
2. Changes are more likely to be accepted if they do not
threaten group members.
3. Changes are more likely to be accepted when the need
for change affects individuals directly.
4. There will less resistance to change when the changes
is open to revision and modification.
5. The three factors (degree, rate, and desirability)
affecting a group’s ability to adapt to change in a
system should be considered.

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Decision Making and Problem
Program Evaluation Review
Technique (PERT)
1. Determine what the final step should look like.
2. Specify any events that must occur before the final goal
is realized.
3. If necessary, construct a diagram of the process to trace
the progress of implementation.
4. Generate a list of activities, resources, and materials
that are required between events.
5. Develop a timeline for implementation.
6. Match the total time estimate for implementation of the
7. Specify which group members will have which
responsibilities.
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Decision Making and Problem
Majority Rule
• Deliberations are significantly shorter and less
conscientious.
• Minority factions participate less frequently and
are less influential, underutilized in the group’s
resources
• When issues are not very important, when
decisions must be made relatively quickly, and
when commitment of all members to the final
decision is unimportant, majority rule can be
useful.

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Decision Making and Problem
Minority Rules-Several Types
• The group designates one of its members as an
expert to make decisions. Designation by expert
is mostly ineffective.
• Designated authority makes the decision for the
group, either after heating discussion from group
members or without their consultation.
• Minority rule can take the form of a forceful
faction making a decision for the group by
dominating less forceful members.

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Decision Making and Problem
Unanimity Rule: Consensus
• The unanimity rule governs some groups,
juries are an example.
• Consensus is a state of mutual agreement
among members of a group where all
legitimate concerns of individuals have
been addressed to the satisfaction of the
group.

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Decision Making and Problem
True Consensus
• True consensus requires agreement,
commitment, and satisfaction. All members msut
to agree with the groups final decision, but
consensus does not require adoption of every
member’s personal preference.
• If all members can agree on an acceptable
alternative, even if this alternative is not each
members first choice, then you have come
close to achieving a true consensus.

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Decision Making and Problem
True Consensus
• Groups that use a consensus approach tend to produce
better decisions than groups using other decision rules
because full discussion of issues is required, every
group member must be convinced that the decision is a
good one, and minority members are heard.
• Achieving unanimous agreement from group members is
very difficult, especially when the issues are emotionally
charged and time for decision making is limited.
• Consensus is increasingly unlikely as group’s grow
larger.

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Decision Making and Problem
Guidelines to Achieve Consensus
2. Establish a cooperative climate.
3. Identify the pluses and minuses of potential decisions
under consideration.
4. Discuss all concerns of group members and attempt to
resolve every one.
6. Request a “stand aside”- when an individual does not
block the group choice.
7. Avoid conflict-suppressing techniques such as coin-
flipping.
8. If consensus is impossible despite these guidelines
seek a supermajority (minimum of 2/3 agreement)
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Decision Making and Problem
Increasing Constructive Participation:
Jump starting low-participators
1. When low-participators offer contributions, indicate that
their participation is valued by actively listening to what
that person as to say, and thank them for their
contribution.
2. Make issues and problems for discussion relevant to
the interests of low-participators.
3. Give low-participators responsibility with certain tasks.
4. Establish a cooperative group climate.
5. Encourage devil’s advocacy and dialectal inquiry.

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Decision Making and Problem
Complaints Associated with
Group Meetings
1. Unclear purpose of the meeting.
2. Participants are unprepared.
3. Key individuals are absent or late.
4. Discussion drifts into irrelevant
conversation on unrelated topics.
5. Some participants dominate the
conversation and stifle discussion.
6. Decisions made at meetings are not
implemented.
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Decision Making and Problem
The Chair:
Controlling the Meeting
1. Don’t call a meeting unless there is not good alternative
2. Contact every participant
3. Prepare a clear agenda and distribute to all members 3
4. Move the agenda forward
5. Designate specific time allotment for every discussion
item
6. Reserve a few minutes at the end of the meeting to see
if objectives were met.
7. Distribute the minutes of the meeting as soon as
possible.

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Decision Making and Problem
Evaluating Information:
Applying Criteria
• Is the information reliable?
• Is the information as up to day as
possible?
• Does the information support the claims
• A single example or stat may or may not
accurately reflect what’s true in this
instance.
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Decision Making and Problem
Guidelines for
Determining Statistics
• The sample size (in polls, surveys, and
studies)
• Samples must be randomly selected, not
self-selected.
• Sufficiency (when enough is really
enough)
– What type of claim are you making?
– Extraordinary claims require extraordinary
proof.

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Decision Making and Problem
Creative Problem Solving
1. Creativity is more perspiration than
inspiration.
2. Creativity is spurred by challenges
3. Creativity flourishes in cooperative, not
competitive environment.
4. Creativity requires sound ideas
5. Creativity requires many ideas
6. Creativity requires breaking mindsets
and thinking outside the box.
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Decision Making and Problem
Competent communicators explore possible
solutions to conflicts of interests
• Conflicting parties should formulate a clear
statement of issues and goals.
• Parties in conflict must determine whether a real
conflict of interests exists
• The parties in disagreement should stick to their
goals but remain flexible regarding the means of
attaining them.
• If stalemated concede on low-priority issues or