Tired of long meetings without decisions?

Have you ever been in a meeting that seems to go on for hours?
Where some people talk like this:

BlahBlahBlah, BlahBlahBlah, I don’t have anything to add to this conversation, but I want to make sure that everyone hears my voice, BlahBlahBlah, so that I’m sure that they value me, BlahBlahBlah, and so that everyone thinks I’m a smart person, BlahBlahBlah, that has something to say, BlahBlahBlah.

Actually I think that the idea that we are discussion here, blahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlah is a great idea, BlahBlahBlahBlahBLahBLahBlahBlahBlah I’m adding a few idea’ on top of it so I look smarter BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah, I support this idea the way it was proposed.

If you have 6 people around the table and we all take 10 minutes talking like that (and yes we all do it), that is 1 hour of lost productivity for 6 people.

That is 6 hours. mmm, maybe we need to have smarter meetings.

Comes along Decider, one of the Core Protocols.

Here are the basic rules: (See page 6 of the Core for all the details )

1. Proposer says “I propose [concise, actionable behavior].”
2. Proposer says “1-2-3.”
3. Voters, using either Yes (thumbs up), No (thumbs down), or Support-it (flat hand), vote
simultaneously with other voters.

Let’s use an example:
Situation: I’m hungry, my kids are noisy and my wife is having a bad day.

Yves: I’m proposing that we go out now and eat some French fries. 1-2-3
Yves: Thumbs up (it would be very stupid to vote thumbs down to my own proposal)
Joppe (7 y) : thumbs up
Bent (4 y): thumbs up
Geike (2 y): thumbs up (she doe snot understand it, but she loves to vote yes)
Els: thumbs down

I’m turning to her and ask her: what would it take to get you in?
Els says, I would accept it if we would leave in 15 minutes, so that I have the time to do X
As it is a small change I do a quick eye check with my kids to see if that is OK.
==> Decision taken.


This technique also works well with a distributed team over chat or E-mail. As I described in a previous post: taking group decisions by e-mail.