4 Types of decision making in meetings

Decision Making


How do you make right and fast group decisions? Remote work increases that challenge even more. A lot of companies use mainly one or a combination of the three types below:

  • Autocracy
  • Consensus
  • Majority Vote


Autocracy happens, when the loudest and most influential voice gets its way. Such meetings are often noisy, people do not listen to each other, and bad reasoning is the norm. Silent, but often precious voices do not get heard, which leads to frustration.


Consensus means that everyone has to agree to a decision. Such meetings take place in a very similar manner than autocratic ones, and it can often be a combination of the two. They can be loud with hard discussions and arguments. However, consensus decision making if often time-consuming because there is no end until everyone agrees. Such an approach can create a loss of drive for new ideas because employees want to avoid such endless discussions.

Majority vote

Majority vote means that the majority has to agree. The approach of the majority vote is often just blunt autocracy with some hidden power structures. Good ideas are often missed out, similar to the other two methods.

Alternative: Consent decision making

Consent decision making means the absence of objections. This approach was adopted by the Sociocratic movement and urges the group to accept a solution which is “good enough” and safe enough to try. Employees come prepared into such meetings by providing not only an idea but also a possible solution. Consent decision making follows a formal process, and a decision is made when there are no meaningful objections.

This approach can be discouraging at the beginning, but it becomes familiar over time. Furthermore, it has a lot of advantages in the long run, such as more buy-in from everyone, a non-toxic meeting culture, valuable input and information during meetings, and it saves a lot of time.