Making decisions as an individual is usually challenging by itself. There’s paralysis analysis, which happens when there are too many options, making it difficult to make a decision. It makes you wonder if making decisions as a team is even harder! In most cases, decision-making involving groups can be tricky and elaborate. However, just like anything else, making decisions is a skill. One of the tools that you should have handy is running a Decision-Making meeting.
This meeting can be about anything that needs to be finalized between two people, teams, or departments. It is a formal agreement on a significant decision and the commitment to execute it.
Note that this is NOT a brainstorming session. Ideally, you already completed a brainstorming session, which narrowed down your options.
Product Team: Decide the release date of a major product feature.
HR: Pick the best candidate for a new hire.
Marketing: Choose the best slogan or logo for your new website.
Have a clear and straightforward goal. Preparing before the meeting can save a lot of time. If you can have an asynchronous discussion to eliminate other options, it would be a huge time saver.
Another thing that you can decide on before the meeting is the attendees. As much as possible, keep the group small. Are there teammates that need to be informed but don't need to be involved in the process? Just share the notes with them after the meeting.
Assign a facilitator for a smoother meeting. This person will be able to navigate the discussion easily and lead the team to the best decision.
The facilitator should also make sure that all of the attendees participate and speak their minds. It's better to address all the potential issues before making a decision.
Even if you're recording the Zoom session, make sure to take notes and summarize the decision made.
If a Decision-Making meeting is a regular occurrence in your role as a manager, having this template will be handy. You can use it as it is or edit it depending on the scope of the decisions.
Remind everyone of the final decision that needs to be made. Are you deciding a date for a campaign? Then you need to have a final date before the end of the meeting. Are you deciding on a budget? Make sure you have the dollar amount.
Summarize the background. Is there a report or a document that needs to be reviewed? You can also link it here.
Who are the best people who can have the most insightful input to make the decision? It could be someone who already ran a similar campaign. Make sure to invite them to the meeting.
Always keep everyone on track by rephrasing their response or reminding them about the decision that needs to be made. For example, if someone is off on a tangent, you can say, "That's a great idea. But it might be suitable for another project. For now, we need to decide on the date of the campaign."
Make sure to bookmark this Decision-Making Meeting template, so you can have it handy anytime you're ready to decide with the team. This template works perfectly for an asynchronous meeting, so everyone is free to jump into the discussion at their own time.