Write On the Walls

In principle, good group decisions stem from shared understanding, and shared understanding comes from reading off the same page. To see things the same way, write words for everyone to see.

And, good group decisions stem from all views being heard. The best way for someone to feel heard is for their view to get written for everyone to see.

Practical Tip: For every group meeting, have on hand the ability to write words for everyone to see. Markers and a flip chart work well and many groups these days use a laptop and projector. There are many creative ways.

When people make comments, paraphrase them on the chart or the screen. The words do not need to be perfect, but “representative” of the view being expressed. When it seems like the group is agreeing to something, write words to represent the agreement. Make sure everyone understands and accepts the representative words.

Writing public words that represent viewpoints and agreements is a learned skill and requires focused effort. When done well it leads to shared understanding and individual empowerment: two key building blocks of good group decisions.

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