Friday, June 22, 2007

Repetitive Comments

The late Congressman Morris Udall once summed up a common feature of meetings:

"Everything has been said but not everyone has said it."

Many a meeting features a "beat the subject to death" segment in which the galleries weigh in with their opinions. I used to be frustrated with such delays but now expect and even welcome them.

Why? Because you need to get everyone on board and even stating a view that has already been surfaced is a way in which people analyze, fashion, and demonstrate their commitment. The old saying that no one argues against his own data is true. By permitting the thorough examination - and reexamination - of the key features, you are building support for the ultimate course of action.

One additional point: Don't stop listening. Sometimes, what seem like repetitive comments contain subtle differences and those may need to be addressed.

Sigh.

The consolation is although consultation can be extremely inefficient in the short term, it is highly efficient in the long.

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