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Ensure the Common Understanding

How do I make sure everybody is talking about the same thing?

When people crosstalk about different topics and are not on the same page, projects fail. Without a common understanding, discussions can be long, difficult, painful, and escalate. It wastes everyone's time, and necessary work gets blocked. The Standish Group found that 75% of projects partially or totally fail mainly due to a lack of common understanding.

How does the DecisionMaker work here?

The DecisionMaker ensures that all the players share a common understanding. When you know that everybody is talking about the same thing, it becomes easy to make good decisions and achieve successful, actionable results.

The first and most important step of every Decision Making Process is ensuring a common understanding. You need everybody to understand and agree on what the topic is that you need to discuss, or the problem to solve, or the decision to make. When you’re sure that everybody has a common understanding and is committed to the same topic at hand, it’s possible to move forward. You can’t fall behind later in the process. This provides a solid foundation for the next step of the decision making process, rating.

Using the DecisionMaker, it’s possible to ensure a team collaboration that’s a far cry from just one leader’s explanation or demands. Used this way, the KiE Scale quickly shows how much information is still needed to create a common understanding. It takes pressure off the leader because the participants are responsible for contributing what they need to understand the proposal better. By using the Resource Question, all participants must share (and share anonymously) if they need additional resources to understand the proposal.

Everybody saves time by cutting out explanations and justifications, and it’s not necessary for anybody to provide a longwinded explanation of what they understand or don’t understand. The DecisionMaker also empowers everybody who already understands the proposal, because they can contribute their competencies and knowledge to the whole team.

With the DecisionMaker, you save time and cut out agony. When a common understanding exists, it becomes clear how supportive the team is, and everybody can move forward more quickly toward a good, actionable decision.

How do I use it?

You can make sure that everybody is talking about the same thing by selecting the KiE Scale “To what extent do you understand the proposal” in your Decision Making Process. This is an invitation for your participants to take responsibility for sharing what they need if they don’t understand.

First, create a Decision Making Process to ask this leading question with a KiE Scale. After your participants submit their ratings and you close the rating process, you will see how well everybody understands the proposal.

If somebody rates their understanding between (1) and (7), they do not understand the proposal well-enough. So, to ensure a common understanding, select, “COLLECT RESOURCES”. Any participant who rated below an (8) will be asked the Resource Question: "What is necessary for you to understand at a rating of (8) for the topic?"

When the responsibility is put on the people who do not understand to explain what they need to understand better, it takes the pressure off you as a leader to guess what they are thinking. You are no longer put in the awkward position of feeling pressure to move forward before everybody is on the same page. Using the DecisionMaker, everybody will be able to see the anonymous resources shared by the participants who do not understand. You and the participants who do understand the proposal at (8) or more can then consider these resources and how to use them. You can repeat this process until everybody reaches a common understanding.

When a common understanding is guaranteed, it’s easy to move ahead and make good decisions. This is why using the DecisionMaker ensures improves team happiness, reduces the demands on the leader, and improves the proposal with everybody’s resources, experience, intuition and more.

Learn more:Making Decisions is the Core of remote Collaboration