UNPRODUCTIVE (adjective): /ʌnprəˈdʌktɪv/
(of an activity or period) not achieving much; not very useful: ‘unproductive meetings’
71% of workers say the meetings they attend are “unproductive,”1 according to a Microsoft survey. What a shocking waste of time, talent, and business opportunity!
Bad meetings drive bad, slow decisions.We’ve all been in “unproductive” meetings. What do they have in common? Poor or delayed decisions and decisions made too slowly.
In a previous post, we shared three strategies for equipping teams to make better decisions faster. There’s another side to this story: how you as an individual can drive faster, better decisions for your organization.
Here are 3 strategies you can use right now to drive better decisions faster.In meetings where you must share information to support critical business decisions, what can you do to quickly get better results?
Here are three proven strategies for framing messages to get results:
1) Establish context based on your decision maker's perspective.
Average performers typically open a meeting by describing the problem and then pivoting immediately to discuss options for addressing it.
What do high-performers do?
You can reduce resistance from decision makers by aligning first with their current situation—factors with which they can confidently agree—before moving on to the complications that make their situation, or problem, urgent.
2) Address the implications of not resolving the problem.
Average performers fail to drive optimal decisions quickly because they don’t establish urgency.
What do high-performers do?
You must address the cost of “no decision.” If you don't, it's entirely likely that no decision will be made. This is known as the “Loss Aversion Effect.” People are twice as motivated to avoid a loss as to achieve a comparable gain.2
3) Communicate a clear “ask.”
Average performers fail to distil their recommended next steps.
What do high-performers do?
You must present a clear "ask" up front. Decision makers don’t just want an update. They want to know what you need from them. “Don’t just give me the information. Interpret it for me. Give me something to which I can say YES! or NO!”
The next time you plan an important presentation, focus first on developing a clear, compelling “ask,” and only then create a presentation to support it.
These three strategies work.Using them will help you drive better decisions faster. Using them consistently across an organization can be challenging, however. Many companies recognize that a framework, like Mandel's SCIPAB® communication framework, can help managers and individual contributors employ these strategies more regularly and effectively.
Mandel Communications is a leader in helping organizations improve the quality and speed of decision-making through more effective communication. To learn more, download the whitepaper Return on Meeting Time: Is Your Company’s Too Low?
1 The New York Times
2 Tversky, A. and D. Kahneman, 2004. Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model.
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