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3 questions to ask at your next meeting

  • How do you know that?
  • What evidence exists?
  • Are we sure that assertion is true?

These questions are important for a couple reasons:

First, they depersonalize decision making. Forcing everyone to back up their assertions with data, facts, or intelligent reasoning, helps create a culture where the best ideas win, rather than what Avinash Kaushik calls the HiPPO rule: the highest paid person’s opinion wins.

Second, they remind us of the unavoidable uncertainty inherent in so many decisions. Because more often than we’re comfortable with, the answer to these questions will be “I don’t know.”

Admitting that you don’t know, can be frightening, but can also come with a sense of freedom.

After all, if no matter what you do it’s going to be a roll of the dice, you might as well roll right now.

  • Craig Jarrow

    Al, I wish these three questions were on a plaque in every meeting room.

    Too often I see meetings where whatever is said is considered “true.”

    Just because someone said it… doesn’t make it reality.

  • Badistefano

    My fear is that after asking these questions, my 4th question will be: “why doesn’t my key work here anymore” and I will need to update my resume.