Value-based Decision Making

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Intent or purpose: 
For some groups, the broader value context of the decision being made is as important to them as the content of the issue at hand. In this case, it can greatly help a group to reflect first on their own values, and then proceed to the issue about which they will decide. The objective is to provide an opportunity to reflect on the value context for the decision about to be discussed.
Used as component of: 
Any group process
Recognizable Components: 
Focused dialogue
Types of Participants: 
People who come together out of a set of shared values or shared faith
Recommended size of group: 
Optimal amount of time needed: 
30 minutes
Usual or Expected Outcomes: 
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Type of Facilitator-Client Relationship: 
Level of Difficulty to Facilitate: 
Specialized skills required
Facilitator Personality Fit: 
Facilitator needs some experience with reflective group dialogue, and some degree of trust from the group
Setting and Materials: 
Resources Needed: 
Pre-Work Required: 
Select a quotation from an individual or from writings that are central to the group’s values. For faith-based groups, this might be a scripture passage. For others, quotations from Sun Tsu, Martin Luther King, Eleanor Roosevelt, Dag Hammarskjöld, Thich Nhat Hanh or other honored figures might provide a background.

1. Have someone read the quotation and let the group reflect on it quietly for a few minutes.

2. Now ask the group:
• What are some words in the quotation that strike you?
• What do you find helpful about this comment for our work today?
• What do you find difficult to understand in this quotation?

o Read the quotation once again
• What does this have to say to us about the decision we have to make today?
• What important reminders should we keep in mind today?

3. Proceed as usual with a standard decision-making process

4. In closing the day, a useful reflection can be:

• What are you grateful for from today’s time together?

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