Possibilities VS Probabilities

Have you led meetings where there were too many “ideas” from your team?

That you couldn’t land on a decision without disappointing someone?

That you wondered if you were too “democratic?” Here is an approach to lead through this.

Often when we discuss strategies and actions, we tend to focus on what’s possible: 

  • What are ways we can execute the plan?
  • What are ideas to go after our quarterly goal?
  • Let’s brainstorm on all the different execution plans!

When there are many options or ideas on the table, things get tricky because of the interpersonal dynamics: 

  • Teammates are invested in their options and ideas
  • All the peer-to-peer and peer-to-boss dynamics come into play
  • Most critically, you the boss are now forced to have to juggle between the perception of being “democratic” and “autocratic” 

One way to steer the discussion towards a more actionable direction is to move away from the POSSIBILITIES and move towards the PROBABILITIES:

  • What is the likelihood of “Plan A” achieving our goals? 
  • What are the probabilities of this option failing? Base on what supporting facts? 
  • What additional information do we need to verify this probability?

Lastly, a thought to continue the thinking: 

How do possibility and probability relate to being in the present? 🙃