A simple intervention

Last week I was in a meeting to decide how to move forward on a project.

The conversation was going in circles. I was having trouble following which options were on the table and which were off. Based on what I was hearing, it seemed like others didn’t have a clear picture of what each option entailed, either.

After about 15 minutes of confusing conversation, (I wasn’t facilitating) I asked if we could write down the different options so all could see.

It turned out there were six different options floating around, which was surprising to almost everyone. No wonder no one could track what was happening.
Once the options were delineated, it was easy to eliminate two of them as clearly inappropriate. We talked about the other 4 for about 5 minutes, reached a decision, and developed an action plan.

“Write it down” is a simple intervention that speeds up decision making.