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The Glossary of Meeting Terms describes terminology and acronyms related to meetings and all the activities we do in those meetings. We've gathered this information from far and wide, so enjoy! And hey — if you have corrections or additions, please don't hesitate to contact us!

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DeBono's Six Thinking Hats is a dialogue technique for looking at a decision from multiple angles. Individual group members take on an assigned perspective (or "Thinking Hat") for the duration of the discussion. For example, when talking about how to handle a situation, one person will take responsibility for pointing out any needs for more information, another will highlight all the exciting possibilities, and another will point out all the problems. Six Thinking Hats was created by Edward...

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A decision log is, literally, a log of decisions that have been made. The purpose of a decision log is to make information available to people who were not present when the decision was made, and also to provide easy access to key information about past decisions when questions arise. (In particular, the question “Didn’t we already decide that?”)

The summary of a decision should include:

What was decided What alternatives were considered Why this choice was made Who was involved... read more

A Decision Making Meeting is used by teams when they need to formally agree on a significant decision and secure commitment to act on that decision.

You can find an introduction to Decision Making Meetings in Chapter 26 of our book, Where the Action Is. You may also want to visit the Learn More link, below, for resources to help you plan, run, and troubleshoot the specific meetings your team needs.

Examples New... read more

A decision tree is a decision-making aid that compares options by projecting what the expected outcome of each choice might be. Teams that use a decision tree often draft the tree together in a meeting on a whiteboard. First, they add a circle or box for each option under consideration. Then, they add "branches" from the first option that show the results they expect if they choose that option. Then, they add a matching set of branches coming from the next option with the results they...

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Decision making technique designed to combat groupthink. One or more people in the group takes the "devil's advocate" role, and works to point out all the flaws and risks with an option under consideration.

Dialetical inquiry is a group decision-making technique that attempts to combat group think. The practice reportedly originated with Plato, who asked his students to consider both the thesis and antithesis to any idea. Groups using this technique divide into two camps: those advocating for an idea and those advocating against it. Both sides highlight the advantages of their assigned decision and outline the disadvantages of the opposing idea.

A discovery meeting is a form of investigative meeting used by consultants, designers, and project teams to learn more about a project's requirements. During a discovery meeting, one or more people interview the project stakeholders about project goals, background, available resources, constraints and any other factors that may impact the project's success.

Discovery meetings provide information used to draft a discovery report and to help the project team decide on next steps.

The classic structure for group decision-making meetings includes these phases: Diverge -> Emerge - > Converge.

Divergent Thinking describes thought processes and methods used to generate creative ideas by exploring a wide variety of ideas and perspectives. Many group meetings include activities designed to spur divergent thinking. The most famous example is brainstorming, where a group comes up with as many different ideas as possible.

Divergence can also refer to the...

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Dominance in a meeting describes the behavior of a person who uses their position of authority or role in the group to control the situation in a way that excludes the fair and equitable consideration of other viewpoints. In other words, they use their position to bully and suppress the other participants. Dominance is considered a meeting dysfunction because it prevents healthy conversation and results in heavily biased decision making.

Dominance is a term commonly used in the...

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A doom loop is a negative belief cycle, where a series of beliefs, actions, and reactions work to reinforce negative beliefs and unwanted behaviors.

Here's how a positive belief cycle works:

You form a belief.
Example: Dancing is fun! You act on that belief.
You dance often and get pretty good at it. Others see your action and form their own beliefs.
Others see you're having fun and smile when they see you dance. You see others' reactions, which reinforces your belief... read more

Dot voting is a fast and easy polling system used to bring out a group's opinions regarding the highest priority items on a list. The technique is called “Dot Voting” because, in face-to-face meetings, votes are cast by placing a sticky-dot or using markers to make a dot next to an item posted on the wall. Each meeting participant gets a fixed number of votes (or dots) that they can cast however they want; they can place all their votes on the same item if they wish, or vote for several...

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