If you’re someone who spends a lot of time in meetings with your team, this is for you.
One of the things that most people are frustrated about when they sit in meetings is that decisions don’t get made. But I ask you this question: How much time does your team spend deciding how you’re going to make decisions?
The biggest problems with teams and one of the biggest problems with teamwork… If you want your team to be a multiplier, an awesome team is that you haven’t talked about how you want to decide.
If you want to understand some key principles about how to make decisions in teams, and a process for making those decisions, stick around, I’m going to share that with you.
The biggest frustration when you’re often sitting in meetings is that decisions aren’t being made.
If you and your team want to become an awesome team, I call it a “team multiplier”, a lot of you have heard the concept before if you’ve seen my stuff before, but to make a multiplier you’ve got to have two things. You’ve got to have clarity of vision and mission and a plan and you’ve also got to have great teamwork. Now part of great teamwork is that when you talk about something you’re able to decide quickly and implement and I call it deciding how to decide, and teams that are multipliers have talked about this process.
If you look at the latest Harvard Business Review there’s an article in there about the four things that great CEOs do, the ones that deliver results, the ones that are brilliant and remembered, and one of the things is that they decide with speed and conviction and I would want you as a team to have the ambition that you’re going to decide with speed and conviction, but to do that I want you to understand these three principles. The first principle is a mindset.
So many people sit in meetings frustrated because decisions aren’t being made, but I want you to recognise that having TRUE concensus, that is: every single person around that table deciding on the one thing is actually MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. If you can imagine you’re trying to decide between three options, A, B & C, you firstly have to have everyone agree that A was the option, then that A was better than B and then that A was better than C and then that A was better than the combination of B & C combined, which is what people do in meetings, they try and put all these different options together it is virtually impossible to get true concensus.
So what we need to do as a team is actually literally work on the process of how decisions are going to be made because they will never be made with true concencus.
The second is understanding the difference between positions and interests and I always used to sit in meetings and say “Why is that person think that?” When there’s obviously logical data to say
“you know what that’s not true.” And they stick to this certain position. It’s because they’ve got an interest to protect. And why you want to work on your teamwork and the way you make decisions is because most people sit in meetings protecting their interest. They say “Well I can’t move on that because I’ve got a team.” “I’ve got my own team or my own resources or my own budgets to protect.” What you want to do as a team is get to a point where you decide how you come to a team position. Right? Yes you’ve all got your interests, but how do you come to a
the team position and then how do you fall in line behind that position.
Third thing is, one of the the things that speeds up decisions really fast is the clarity of outcome that people will get. Setting the clarity of outcome up front. OK so, deciding “what does success look like in this decision”? What happens is most people, because they don’t understand a decision is being made, they tune out, and when you are clear about the outcome that’s going to be made, people know the role and they know the decision that’s going to be made, they know the purpose.
As a summary, if you want to be a multiplier, you’ve got to work on how you you have to decide how you want to decide as a team and as part of that the mindset is… There is no true concensus, you’ll never get concensus it’s mission impossible.
Your job is to find a position as a team and avoid people protecting their interests. What makes a big difference is: With every decision, make sure you’re really clear up front about what that decision is to be made and what the outcome you want is.
What I’m going to share with you now is a process that I just built with one of the teams that I work with. A really quick 10 minute process that you might be able to use to make better decisions.
Here’s the process that I came up with with the team I worked with.
First thing is they elected a ringmaster, someone who can run the process when they’re making a decision, once they’ve decided on how to decide they need to work with someone who’s going to play the role of facilitating the process. This is what we came up with, which was that for smaller decisions, this is not big like “Where are we going as a company?” ordealing with a major problem, but for smaller decisions that they want to make as a team in team meetings they’re going to spend a minute outlining the facts in the in the situation, whoever’s the issue is, then they’re going to spend two minutes saying “this is really the problem I need solved, and this is the decision I need the team to make.” Then they’re going to spend three minutes either building new ideas to solve it, or building on existing ideas that are already around. You can really declare is it one or the other: Is this a new idea or am I just building on the one they’ve talked out over there?
Then I think this a clever idea, we discussed that sometimes the answer is obvious and everyone just dilly dallies around. But there is actually a concensus brewing but no-one actually says “Hang on, I think we can move on from this I think we’ve made a decision.” The idea is here take a straw poll. Go “Look, I think there’s probably this seems to be the decision we’re making can everyone put their hand up if you agree we’re ok with making it?” And if a majority of people go “Yeah” then it’s OK to move ahead with that, and we implemented this in the team and we were able to make three really fast decisions in 30 minutes, where before we’d spend an hour debating back and forth.
Final bit is: once you’ve made a decision, what next? What’s the next set of actions and what needs to happen and who’s accountable for them?
So quick decision process, takes about 10 minutes:
Elect yourself a ring master, facts, problems, solutions, straw poll and then accountability.
Just to end this video What I talked about was that if you sit in meetings frustrated with your team because decisions aren’t being made quickly, you’ve got a problem because when it comes to
great teams and great organisations one of the things they do is make quick decisions.
If you want to be able to make quick decisions, follow the principles I talked about before and implement, actually, not implement, you don’t have to implement MY process, I’d encourage you
to think about and decide how you want to decide.
If you want to use my process that’s OK but if you do this you’ll be a much better team and you’ll be a lot less frustrated.
Talk to you soon.