How many meetings do you attend where you wished you were somewhere else? You know the ones, a talkfest, nothing resolved, roadblocks and reasons why you can’t rather than how you can!
- Firstly avoid the tendency for discussions to wander off at tangents. Keep asking “what is the issue we are here to address” and push to keep discussion around that issue.
- Seek out what the outcome would look like if everything was perfect. Avoid the tendency for groups to jump to the solution right up front, usually it will be the wrong one!
- Work on all the options to solve the issue, there will be one that works the best, is easiest to get done and will have lasting effects.
- Choose the best option and get on with implementing it.
One of the great things about this approach is that everyone at the meeting gets ownership of the decision and hence ownership of the result. So there is no excuse for anyone to disengage or refuse to participate in being part of the activities which will be undertaken after the meeting to resolve the issue.
If you allow a dominate player to force their idea on the group (usually they will try this early in proceedings) and don’t go through this collaborative approach then you will generally find the roadblocks will start to emerge early in the meeting and at some point either the group defers to the loudest voice or decides to defer a decision and meet again at some future time. And the cycle repeats at the next meeting, you recognise this don’t you.
It is important to break this cycle, eliminate the impasse and gain consensus. A productive use of yours and everyone else’s time and ultimately more effective and efficient business operations.
Doesn’t that sound like the type of meeting you would want to attend?