Ever found yourself in a decision-making meeting that seems to go absolutely nowhere? No one decides anything or provides direction, and no progress is made. It just ends up being a huge waste of resources. Research shows that an estimated $37 billion is lost each year due to unproductive meetings. If you’ve been in these kinds of meetings, you’ve probably felt frustrated that you just lost a half hour (or more) of your time.

According to Karin Hurt and David Dye, the founders of Let’s Grow Leaders, too many meetings happen without any clarity surrounding them. Leaders don’t involve the right staff members, there’s no defined point person for anything, and no one has defined any success criteria. As a result, teams lose valuable time and waste energy talking over one another.

Dye and Hurt say the best way to avoid these kinds of bungled meetings is to clarify who should be there, who owns the decision and what a successful outcome will achieve. In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we outline three questions they recommend asking to bring more clarity to your decision-making meetings.

  1. Who does this decision affect? Think through which employees will be impacted by the decision. This helps you make the best choices. Remember, you don’t need to involve everyone in the process, Hurt and Dye say. Aim for the smallest group of people to get the needed input.
  2. Who owns this decision? This might be a single person – maybe you – or a team of people. You might take a group vote, or perhaps the group reaches a consensus. Dye and Hurt recommend identifying the person or people who will make the call before the discussion begins.
  3. What would a successful outcome do for you? According to Hurt and Dye, leaders regularly skip this question or assume that everyone has the same success criteria in mind. This isn’t the case, which is why frustration sets in. The conversation may turn into a tug of war with two or three different people arguing different viewpoints. Since you can’t make effective decisions if you don’t know what success looks like, make sure you get clear on this question.

When you’re gearing up for a decision-making session, remember the three questions above. They can save you time, keep frustration levels in check and ensure that your team walks away not just with another meeting under their belts, but with real progress made. 

Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Karin Hurt and David Dye are the founders of Let’s Grow Leaders and the award-winning authors of five books.