I found this on a post by Al Pittampalli. He has written a great little book on how to have productive meetings, and often has helpful resources like this article. You can read more here.
First, communicate a clear, transparent process in advance of the decision. For example, the next time you’re thinking about changing the school dress code, send a memo first outlining the three-week process: week one — online survey to get feedback from parents, week two — town hall to get input from students and faculty, week three — executive meeting where the decision will ultimately be made. Furthermore, you’ll earn extra points if you indicate the criteria by which leadership will make their decision.
Second, leaders should be clear about how each individual or group gets to contribute to the decision, particularly: who gets a voice and who gets a vote? Leaders, however, not wanting to offend, frequently hesitate to make the distinction. Ironically, this ends up creating more offense in the long-run as people inevitably find out. Better to let them know up front.
Third, once a decision is made, leaders should explain not just what decision they’ve reached, but why. Communicating a clear rationale helps people understand that the decision was made based on the pre-determined criteria, not, as some are inclined to believe, the capricious whims of the leader.
Finally, and most importantly, leaders should be persuadable. If you’re heart is already set on a particular course of action and you have no good faith willingness to change your mind, then better to jettison the idea of a process altogether. Make your decision, communicate it to others, and move on. But if you do choose to go through the effortful and time consuming exercise of inviting others to the table before making your decision, make sure you come to that table with an open mind. Because people are generally good at sniffing out when the decision was a fait accompli.
Of course, a good process (and mindset) won’t guarantee people will like your decision. In fact, no matter what you decide, someone, somewhere undoubtedly won’t. That’s okay. Your job isn’t to convince them that the outcome is good, it’s to maximize the chance they see the process as fair.