In principle, good group decisions stem from shared understanding and shared understanding comes from reading off the same page.
Also, people like to feel heard and when people feel heard it allows the group to move on. A very effective way for someone to feel heard is for their point to get written for everyone to see.
Practical Tip: For every group meeting, have on hand the ability to write words in front of the group. Markers and a flip chart work well or you might use a laptop and projector. There are many creative ways.
When people make comments, paraphrase them on the chart or the screen. The words don’t need to be perfect, but representative of the view 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.
– Craig Freshley