Never leave in silent disagreement

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 08-05-16

Whether a longer kaizen event or just a long meeting, it is commonplace to establish ground rules for the meeting. Some companies have standing ground rules that apply to all meetings. Others make it the facilitators’ job to establish them with the group before the meeting starts. There are some standards such as phones on silent and laptops closed, but one of my favorites and most useful is don’t leave in silent disagreement.

How do I measure useful? Essentially, ground rules are pre-established levels of high agreement that allow you to easily correct problem-behaviors just by referring to the ground rule. So, is that ground rule referred to during the meeting to get us back on track?

The more challenging or controversial the topic, the more I see this ground rule referred to. You can see the build up. The proposal or decision has some challenges. People have some doubt. They are not sure if they should voice them or not. You see them looking around the room to see if everyone else is as uncomfortable as they are. They begin to hint at the concern. That is a good time to refer to this ground rule.

If you don’t, people leave the meeting and immediately begin to see people distance themselves from the decision with phrases like “I’m not so sure this will work”, “I told them this was a problem”, and “it wasn’t my idea.” I something faces opposition to begin with, having the people that were in the room discount it decreases the chance of success by orders of magnitude.

Never leave in silent disagreement.

  • This is SUCH a common issue but sooooooooo overlooked. Glad you’ve put it out here, Jamie.

    Mark August 5, 2016 at 4:54 pm

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