Decision Making

Decision making techniques 1: Single vote

Use this when you don’t have many options. Works well in a large group.
Sarah | 03.08.17

Reference cards

Single vote decision technique infographic - page 1

Single vote decision technique infographic - page 2


  1. Recap what the decision is and what criteria are important for judging it.
  2. Summarise the options to make sure everyone is on the same page.
  3. Ask everyone to choose one and only one option they would personally pick to go forward with.
  4. Collect (see below) together all the answers. The answer with the most votes has won.


Three ways to collect answers:

  1. Ask everyone to raise their hands

    • Positives
      • quick
      • transparent - you can talk about who voted what
    • Negatives
      • not anonymous so people are affected by social pressure, groupthink and the bandwagon effect
  2. Write down their choice on paper

    • Positives
      • fairly anonymous, unless you can recognise your teams handwriting
    • Negatives
      • takes more time
      • requires more organisation (pens and paper)
  3. Use a voting software

    • Positives
      • totally anonymous so people aren’t biased by group think and social pressure
      • easy to get remote workers to participate
    • Negatives
      • everyone has to get out their phones and find the right link or log in


You’re having a meeting with 20 of your colleagues. You’ve spent the last 45 minutes discussing the pro’s and con’s of four trade shows you’re considering attending this year and you want to get a quick idea of which one people think is the most important.

You remind everyone what they’re deciding and that the important criteria are: which audience is most receptive, cost and media attention. You ask them to select one, note it down on a sticky note and then once everyone has chosen, place the sticky notes in four lines so you can see which has the most votes:

Example of single voting output

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