Some decisions are best made with the help of a group of key people. But sometimes, the decision made does not satisfy the majority of decision-makers. For instance, in a meeting, there are those who can confidently pitch in ideas. But then there are those who just aren’t that confident to speak up in a group.So what’s an effective way to encourage individual participation in your team decision making, get everyone in the team to contribute ideas, and inspire one another to come up with innovative solutions?
Welcome: the Stepladder Technique.
The Stepladder Technique
Developed in 1992 by Steven Rogelberg, Janet Barnes-Farrell, and Chares Lowe, this technique is guaranteed to get your team to contribute on an individual level before other members can influence them.
The result? You will have a list of ideas from different viewpoints that perhaps you may consolidate to create one effective decision. The shy ones are “forced” to present their ideas. Everyone will be able to hear everyone’s opinion. And no one gets overpowered by the assertive members of the team.
How to Use the Technique
Step 1: Present the problem at hand to your team, and give them sufficient time to let it sink in and form their own opinions on how to solve the problem.
Step 2: Call the first two members of the team (the core group), and facilitate the discussion between the two.
Step 3: Call a third member to the core group. Member #3 then presents the idea first before hearing out what the first two have discussed. Then remember to allot ample time for the members discuss their options together.
Step 4: Repeat the process on the fourth, fifth, sixth member. Note that the newcomer should present the ideas first before the others can present the consolidated possible solution.
Step 5: When all the members of the team have been called in to present their ideas, you may all decide the best route to take.