Meetings Need a Clear Decision-Making Process

| July 4, 2015


Harvard Business Review

The more prep you do before a meeting, the more productive it will be. That’s why we’re careful to identify a meeting’s purpose (do you need to make a decision, solve a problem, rally the troops, etc.), create an agenda, and invite the right people. But there’s another important step that many forget: identifying the decision-making process. Choosing a method ahead of time helps ensure that you leave with a clear outcome. Here are some options:

  • A majority vote lets every voice be heard, though some people might not be comfortable declaring their opinion publicly.
  • Group consensus allows participants to share their expertise and enhances the chance for buy-in from all parties.
  • Leader’s choice is usually the fastest approach, so you’d opt for this during appropriate in a crisis, for example. But you may need to work harder to get skeptics on board.

Adapted from “A Checklist for Planning Your Next Big Meeting,” by Harvard Business Review Staff.

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