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Make sure your planning and discussions always end with a decision on specific action steps

February 24, 2014

Last week I facilitated a sales planning retreat with a long-time client. The meeting brought together the sales people of six different offices in the company. The aim was to create common goals, processes, and systems. We discussed many different issues, but whenever we saw the discussion starting to come around to the same points again, I would break in and ask my client what the decision was and what actions would be needed to execute on it. This doesn’t appear like a big deal, but for this client it meant creating clarity on goals and actions where before there had been a lot of vague intentions. Just by asking what the decision was as a result of the discussion, we were able to generate a list for execution within a short time frame.

There is nothing wrong with gaining input by holding meetings. However, you must always close any discussion with a decision on next steps and clear direction for who will do what, by when, with whom, and with what resources.

Richard Martin is a consultant, speaker, and executive coach. He brings his military and business leadership and management experience to bear for executives and organizations seeking to exploit change, maximize opportunity, and minimize risk.

© 2014 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes are permitted with proper attribution.

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