Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Decisions - Decisions - Decisions!

Sometimes when setting goals for the year, Troops will not be in agreement. Then girls need to decide how they will make a decision.
Girls can put all the ‘doable’ ideas forward and take a vote. This democratic process gives everyone an equal voice.  Before voting, girls might be given the opportunity to say why they do or do not like one idea vs. another. The group may have to keep narrowing down the list of ideas until there are only two left, and then the vote of the majority – half plus 1 – will be the idea selected. In this scenario there can be a sense of winners and losers and everyone has to agree to support the final outcome.
Another way to make a decision when there is not agreement is to work toward a consensus. This way is sometimes harder, but for some groups it works best.  This method involves more talking and sharing. It is a form of compromise. Everybody agrees at the beginning to take an idea off the table even if only one person feels that she cannot support that idea. Then they have to go back and continue to talk and share until the group can agree upon one single idea or project that everyone can work toward. There can be times when an agreement cannot be made by consensus, and then a vote will become necessary. In Girl Scouting, voting is the process most often used to make decisions.
There are lots of steps in decision making with a group of people. Making decisions can provide challenges and real opportunities to girls – and adults – to grow and learn more about themselves and others.  In fact, group decision making is even one of the skills that girls use as they improve their “people” skills.
The tactics used in making group decisions, can also be whittled down to use when making individual decisions.  Sometimes you just make a decision in your head, other times you can make lists of great ideas, write down the “pros and cons” of each idea and proceed.
Girl Scouts are fortunate to have the Girl Scout Promise and Law to use in making decisions. It provides the standard by which we live our lives.  And when we measure our decisions against those standards, it is easier to make decisions that will be good decisions, that add to our health and happiness and that will make the world a better place.
Next we’ll talk about how to form a budget after a decision has been made!

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