The strength of convictions

After structuring a problem and gathering data, you form a personal opinion about which path should be taken. You take the data and your conclusion to your colleagues to discuss and take a final decision.

Problem → potential Solutions → discussion of potential Solutions → Decision → Implementation

While most people (will) have inputs to give for any potential Solution, most of the comments are smaller details.

It's possible to avoid being pulled into pointless discussions. I have successfully cut many discussion short by verbalizing my Conviction of my opinion and Solutions.

Problem → potential Solutions → Convictions → Discussion of best solutions → Decision → Implementation

As an example, if my team presents a plan for a new layout for spreadsheet tables, I will frequently say:

  • "I like what I see and am 99% convinced of that choice"; or alternatively
  • "It's growing on me but I'm only like 51% convinced".
    In the first case, as a manager I have given the team a nudge that this is a go, whereas in the second I would probably ask the team to discuss the proposal in depth.

When everyone in a meeting adds this extra detail over their opinions, it's easier to move forward with decisions that everyone is at least comfortable with, and focus on decisions that may need a better solution.

Applying this concept to this very text, I can say that I am 99% convinced that adding Convictions is a good discussion strategy.