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Effective Meetings: 5 Ways to Reach Agreement

Categories: Effective Meetings


  1. Negative Poll: A tool used to wake people from the typical head nodding that happens in meetings, and make them think about their response. With it you are asking for those that do not agree, rather than those that do. Some examples of this technique are: "Who can’t agree to strike this idea from the list?", "Who is not able to live with this solution?"
  2. Both/And: Sometimes groups get stuck in making the final decision because they feel they must choose between two options. Using this tool, you can suggest adding two ideas together to make one, or doing both ideas rather than choosing between the two.
  3. Build Up/Eliminate: This tool is used to negotiate agreement when you encounter resistance from one of more participants. You ask the question, “What could I add to or take away from this idea that would make you more comfortable with it?” Often, you’ll find that small adjustments to an idea can make a huge difference in getting others to agree.
  4. Voting: Many groups use this as a decision-making tool. If your ultimate goal is build a collaborative environment, voting is not a tool that BRODY recommends. With voting, there are winners and there are losers. It can be a method that alienates others. However, there are times that voting can be effective, here are a few: 
    • When the topic being considered is not controversial
    • When the need for buy-in is low
    • When the group involved in the decision making is large and unwieldy (ex. political elections)
  5. Consensus: All members state their opinions. Discussion continues until a decision is reached that everyone can accept.
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