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Sometimes my team discuss things for too long, what can I do?


Q - My boss is great at involving the team in the decision making process, but sometimes I get frustrated that we discuss things for too long.  How do we find the right balance?

A - Engaging and involving people in decisions is a key leadership skill which can accelerate success.  However if the discussions go on too long then it won’t just be you that is getting frustrated and want to move things forward faster.  As a team, trial ‘time-boxing’ discussions, where you set a time limit for each area, allocating time that is relevant to the importance of the decision.  At the end of the time, you can all agree whether you can make a decision based on your discussion so far, or whether you need to discuss it further.  If the latter, this may be because of a lack of information, in which case be clear about who is going to obtain and present that information next time you meet.  Whatever the outcome, you should move onto the next item on the agenda.  This discipline can really help to make meetings and decision making more productive.