VOTE FIRST &
Often when we are dealing with tough issues at work, it can spark debate, arguments and even silent wars. People come to meetings to prove their point of view and to shout down the other person, not to have a rational discussion about the agenda. In controversial projects people may take firm positions, making it harder to compromise and solve the matter at hand.
A typical approach to solve this issue is to first have everyone share their view and then to ask everyone to give their final conclusion or vote.
Instead of this how about try a different approach – Vote First, Then Discuss.
In this approach we start the meeting by asking everyone to vote for the options on the table upfront – no emotions, no explanations but simply state your position clearly. What this does is to get everyone to share their emotional position clearly thereby letting it go a little. When people do this they feel their point has been made.
Then open the floor for debate. Let everyone present their piece and ask questions. You are likely to find a more open dialogue as each participant feels they have already been heard and hence are do not need to prove their points again and again.
Let these sessions be free flowing for discussion and debate and encourage everyone to speak up and participate.
At the end of the meeting then ask for a vote again. This time you are likely to see some changes in the voting pattern a move to come closer and bring a consensus.
Vote first and then discuss. Especially when you have a controversial topic to cover.