You can find an introduction to Decision Making Meetings in Chapter 26 of Where the Action Is. These resources will help you plan, run, and troubleshoot the specific Decision Making Meetings your team needs.
A Decision Making Meeting is used by teams when they need to formally agree on a significant decision and secure commitment to act on that decision.
- Given the options before us, which one do we choose and why?
- Who is responsible for the next step?
- New Hire Decision
- Go/No-Go Decision
- Logo Selection
- Final Approval of a Publication
- To decide between two or more options.
- Secure commitment to enact the decision.
- A documented decision.
- Clarity about who will take the next steps.
- Documented messages to share with others about the decision.
- Understanding of the possible options and decision criteria.
- Awareness of how the rest of the team feels about the decision.
- A feeling that opinions and concerns were considered fairly (or not).
Meeting Agenda Templates and Guides
|Beatrice Briggs - How to Establish Decision-Making Criteria with a Group This meeting agenda template helps teams clarify the scope of an upcoming decision, the information they'll need to gather about each option they consider, and the criteria they'll use to evaluate these option. Use this template as a guide to help you prepare... [ more ]|
|Richard Lent, Ph.D. - How to Run a Decision-Making Meeting True consensus is something we value for its ability to unite a group around a particular decision. Too often, however, all we achieve is false consensus in which participants don’t share their concerns and the leader presumes to have everyone’s support. Later, however, the... [ more ]|
|Elise Keith - How to Run a Decision-Making Meeting This meeting agenda template explains how to prepare for and run a solid decision making meeting. This straightforward process walks your team through the critical decision making steps. It doesn’t rely on any specific analytical frameworks or fancy group exercises. You can run... [ more ]|
|Richard Lent, Ph.D. - How to Run a Decision-Making Meeting An effective meeting should build alignment and commitment to any decisions. Different approaches to reaching decisions can be more/less useful in building commitment. And different approaches require different meeting actions. Consent and compromise are two of these ways of... [ more ]|
|Richard Lent, Ph.D. - How to Run a Decision-Making Meeting Here you ask for the group’s input to shape a decision you are about to make. You propose a decision and gather the group’s reactions. This is an effective approach when you want to test some draft decision with the hope of modifying and improving it before deciding on its final... [ more ]|
Lucid Blog Posts
Beatrice Briggs (2019). One of the most important reasons for holding a meeting is to make decisions. Yet too often, the decision-making process degenerates into a battle between competing points of view. Participants become polarized, entrenched in their positions and paralyzed by their disagreements. Unable to resolve the conflict, the group often makes a decision that everyone says they can live with, but that no one really supports. Or worse, no decision gets made at all, and the group misses the opportunity to take positive collective action. If the leader opens a decision-making session declaring that “all ideas are welcome” and then counters the proposed solutions with previously unannounced constraints or criteria, participants may justifiably feel angry that this information was not shared at the beginning of the discussion.
Tammy Adams Spann (2018). Have you ever given your opinion and had it implemented as a decision? Worse yet, have you made a decision only to have it overridden by someone higher up the food chain?
Elise Keith (2017). We are not always master of our decisions. More and more, research shows that we make decisions not with logic, but automatically in response to millennia of conditioned reflexes. We decide based on past experience with failure and success, regardless of whether that experience applies to the current moment.
Richard Lent, Ph.D. (2016). As a leader, you can choose to make your meetings more effective by understanding how to structure them and when to hold them to accomplish real work together. Effective meeting structure is the key.
Recommended Reading & Resources
- "New Research: Diversity + Inclusion = Better Decision Making At Work", Eric Larson (2017).
- "The Decision-Driven Organization", Marcia W. Blenko, Michael Mankins,Paul Rogers (2010).
- "Battle Axes to Boardrooms: A Discussion with Wilbert Van Vree". Elise Keith (2018).
- Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work. Chip and Dan Heath (2013).
- The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done. Peter Drucker (1966).
- Your Logical Fallacy Is. Gabriel Weinberg.