Why we should not decide in meetings

What? Decisions get better when you re-sit them in meetings? A rather provocative tip from expert and Agree-Co founder Roman.

We talk too briefly about the things that are important and too long about unimportant things. At least that's what Parkinson's "Law of Triviality" claims - not with the utmost seriousness, but somehow it feels true, doesn't it?

Roman has a small tip with great effect to counter this law wisely:

Why not? 

Meetings are known to be the number one decision-making tool in teams and organizations. In meetings we try to discuss factually and to reach a consensus on a decision that is supported by all (rarely successful). Or after heated debates without consensus, a vote is taken and up to 49% of the team leaves the meeting frustrated (happens frequently). Or the supervisor listens to everything and everyone, thanks them, and says, "We're still going to do this the way I said before!" (happens all the time).

What is a meeting actually for? 

Meetings can be attributed - in simple terms - three purposes:

  1. Information: Participants are informed about a factual situation.
  2. Discussion: Participants illuminate and develop an issue.
  3. Permission: Someone asks another person or group for permission.

What if, from now on, meetings were only used to inform (1) or discuss (2), but no longer to make a decision or seek permission (3)?

We propose: Meetings and workshops only prepare decisions. A responsible person prepares the discussed decision options only after the meeting. 

All participants are then sent the decision options. They then select or rank the options. In this way, the decision is made at a distance from the discussion, with a second impression, so to speak. Online, anonymous, objective.

We do not believe that this makes the decision-making process more time-consuming; on the contrary, it saves you time and nerves. The substantive discussion at the meeting is focused, opinions are exchanged, solutions are developed and more time is given to what is important - the exchange of information.

With Agree, you can process the key proposals from your meetings and workshops and present them to the team for selection and decision.

Published in
June 2023