Eight steps to good, fair decision-making

The role of a Village Professional can at times feel like walking a tightrope.

In the broadest terms, the basic role of a village manager is to deliver, or facilitate the services promised under the operator’s contract to residents living within their community. Gosh, if only it was that easy!

In reality, every day Village Professionals are balancing residents needs and expectations against legislative and contractual agreements, sometimes in the absence of clear parameters.

And as a result, Village Professionals often find themselves in positions where they have to make decisions – and big ones. 

In my experience, the Village Professionals who make the best decisions generally follow eight steps, which you can use as a guide. 

Here are eight questions to ask yourself before your next big decision.

  1. Is the answer in the legislation?
  2. Is the answer in the contract/residence agreement?
  3. Is there an organisational policy/position guideline around this matter?
  4. What will be the impact on the operations/budget?
  5. What will be the impact on the resident or other residents?
  6. Does this decision require further consultation with others?
  7. Common sense – does it pass the ‘pub test’?
  8. Does it fit in with the values of the organisation?
    (Be careful not to bias with your personal values here.)

When these steps aren’t bearing fruit, you may also consider:

  • Whether you may need to gather some further information; and/or,
  • Are there alternative positions/solutions?

One of the most important lessons in my career, after working on and in more than 200 villages, has been to make sure that my decisions are thoughtful.

I’m constantly asking whether I’ve followed due process, considered all angles, being transparent and can explain the why of my decision.

As a side note, I have also learnt sometimes my decisions may need to be reviewed or amended. Having the ability to revisit a decision (even if it eventually comes out the same) shows respect, and your residents will certainly appreciate it.

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