Some meetings have participants who dominate discussion. They speak first or forcefully and “hijack” the direction of subsequent contributions. Other participants may remain silent or focus on their reactions to the first individual. The breadth of possible comments may be lost. Possible new insights and creativity are lost. Fortunately, you can choose a structure for your…

Dialogue can lead to more insightful and well-supported decisions. People feel heard and ideas are carefully considered. But effective dialogue is hard to achieve. It requires a respectful exchange of views. This can be difficult when the issue is complex and individuals have different stakes in the outcome. The usual way to create more respectful…

An article titled “Meeting Up” in this week’s Economist (April 4th) provides a good summary of research on challenges of reaching decisions with a group. As you know from earlier posts, I agree that how we conduct our meetings has huge consequences for their results. The recommendations for improving things presented here have an important…

Some meetings do not produce good decisions. Consider such (in)famous decisions as the Bay of Pigs invasion, or the Challenger disaster. Smart, well-informed people with every intention of making the “right” decision met together and failed.  And yet they were capable of making a much better decision with the information they had. So what’s going…

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