What Did We Decide Again?

By Joe Moore

Supporting your organisation’s direction includes the behaviours of challenging a decision before it is made, and actively supporting the final decision even if you disagree with it.

One of the day-to-day difficulties with this is that often after a decision-making meeting we may not be sure what the decision is to which we have all agreed.

Hang on! What did we just agree to?
Hang on! What did we just agree to?

A useful way to overcome this hiccup is to finish the meeting with the question – what do we say about what we decided?

The prime function of the question is to clarify what was agreed. Don’t be surprised if by answering this question you find some differences between people in what they understood to be the decision. Excellent – the question has served its purpose. Better to uncover the confusion in the room and deal with it and not let the confusion loose.

The purpose of a decision is great action and action can be stalled by the behaviours of failing to contribute to a decision and then complaining about the decision after it has been taken. It is a way of sabotaging a decision.

Leaders have to confront sabotage. First, they have to make it easy for people to speak up when they disagree. Second, demand that people speak up when they disagree. Three, let people know that they will be held accountable for implementing whatever the group decides.

Is it unreasonable to be able to leave a team meeting confident that after deciding, your colleagues are committed to the agreed decisions – even though they had reservations and expressed some strong disagreement?

We want to get to a point where we can debate the decision, make the decision, and then commit to the decision. We want to be able to leave a team meeting confident that after deciding, our colleagues are committed to the agreed decisions –even though they had reservations and expressed strong disagreement.

If we are not yet at that point, then consider these questions.

  • If we all really did this – what would be the outcome?
  • How can we support each other in taking the next steps?
  • What challenges might come our way and how would we meet them?

About the author: Joe Moore is the founder and principal of Kimber Moore & Associates. He and his team are highly skilled in helping leaders, managers and staff deal with uncertainty, complexity and conflicts before they escalate into situations that are more volatile. You can contact Joe here

About B-Cause

B-Cause is published by Cause and Effective. Our goal is to inspire, inform and encourage people doing good to do even better.

Thats our take on things. Over to you, please add to the discussion.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s