Have you ever led a meeting when it seemed the group kept running away from a decision? As the leader, it is your job to help the team recognize it has reached a crossroads and make the decision. Here are five steps that will help.
Point out the decision point
While it might seem obvious to you, others in the group may not recognize that they have arrived at a decision point. You can help them see this by saying something like, “It looks like we have a decision on the table.” State what you view to be the question, and check with the group to see if they agree.
Clarify the options
Once people agree on the question, your next task is to identify options. Lay out what you view to be the options. Encourage the group to add to the list. It helps to write them on the board, so they are visible to everyone.
Discuss decision criteria
Before choosing, the group should decide what criteria it will use to make its choice. If everyone agrees on the criteria, making the decision becomes a simple exercise in applying the criteria. If participants don’t agree, things get a little trickier.
Allow everyone to have a say
One key to helping the group make the decision is to get them to stop evaluating the options. This point will not come until everyone has had a chance to voice an opinion. Be proactive in asking all group members what they think.
Call for the decision
Eventually, you will sense that everyone has had his or her say. A simple thing you might say to the group at that point is “Are you ready to make the decision?” If you get agreement, ask for everyone’s decision or vote. Use the results to determine what will happen next.
Using these strategies does not guarantee an easy decision, but will at least keep you focused on the question.
Image Credit: Rocco Lucia