Decoys

The next interesting pattern is Decoys. Originally it is described as:

Can you add ‘decoy’ choices, making the others (which you want people to pick) look better in comparison?

And the example is

Would you choose the $79.88 option here, when the other two offer you a free gift AND save you slightly more money?

That is great and widely used pattern in sales and marketing. My strong believe that management and leadership is of the same nature. Sales and marketing techniques work perfect here.

You should use this pattern every time you propose something to your client, boss or subordinates. If you did a decision and want to implement it you can either force a decision or sell it.

If you force your decision then you move in an autocratic way. That is a great way to show your power and it is definitely needed  sometimes. However, you are easy to blame. Any decision has some liabilities. And anyone can easily talk about how bad it is. As soon as there were no alternatives and you was the only one to decide, as soon as no rationale were provided, you are weak against this offense.

Alternatively, you can sell this decision. And this pattern is the way to do it. Find two more alternative solutions that are visibly worse than your decision. Try to design them that their liabilities point to the strongest points of your solution. And then ask another part to do a shopping. They will choose your solution, share the decision-making responsibility and will be glad for deep analysis of the situation and a number of options provided.

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that it might not work in 100% cases and always have a back-up plan if incorrect option is chosen.

Inspired by: http://www.danlockton.com/dwi/Decoys