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Teach: Decisiveness Tools

The tools on this page can be adapted to teach decisiveness, assertiveness, or confidence.
Request tools created by the Project on Positive Leadership
• Tell our community about how you use these tools and ask other users for advice on our LinkedIn groups page
• If you have tools you like to use and are willing to share them with us, let us know


Thinking Through Your Decision

  • Author: Dr. Patty Payette
  • Date: 2022
  • Pages:2
  • Summary: This framework is based on the Elements of Thought and was created by Dr. Richard Paul and Dr. Linda Elder from the Foundation for Critical Thinking. It is part of their comprehensive critical thinking framework. The tool includes eight Elements of Thought: purpose, the question at issue, information, concepts, assumptions, interpretation, implications, and point of view. The decision-making worksheet provides you with a question that accompanies each Element of Thought. To practice making better decisions, simply identify a decision that you need to make, and then answer each question from the worksheet.

Hesitation, Decisiveness, and Impulsiveness Stories

Free tool available upon request from the Project on Positive Leadership.

  • Author: Ryan Quinn
  • Date: 2020
  • Series: Virtues and Vices
  • Pages: 5
  • Summary: This is one of the tools that makes up the Project on Positive Leadership’s “Virtues and Vices” series of instructional tools. It contains four stories of decisiveness, hesitation, or impulsiveness. A tool with multiple stories enables students to examine what is required to exhibit ideal decisiveness across different settings, and to account for the differing perspectives of multiple stakeholders. Each story includes carefully crafted reflection questions to provoke the students’ learning, to prepare them for class, to prepare themselves to practice decisiveness, and to motivate them to be more mindful about their approach to leadership.

TerraCog Global Positioning Systems: Conflict and Communication on Project Aerial

  • Case
    • Price: $4.25
    • By Michael Beer and Sunru Yong
    • Harvard Business School Publishing
    • Published 2008
  • Summary: This case is both brief and high-intensity, so it frames the challenge of decisiveness during uncertainty and conflict nicely. The teaching note encourages having the class figure out why the context makes decisiveness hard, and also how to change the context in the future. For leadership purposes, I also recommend having the class discuss what it takes to be decisive when the context makes decisiveness difficult. Pairing this case with a chapter or technical note on decision-making theory and research is also useful.

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