We’ve all been in the meeting where everyone seems to reach consensus on what to do next, only to find later that some didn’t agree at all.

Reading Patrick Lencioni’s “The Advantage” the the other day, I came across a simple tip:   Change the meaning of silence in your meeting to “no.”  Here’s how it works:

When closing an action item in the meeting, the leader should ask, “Does everyone agree?”  If there is silence from anyone, assume they don’t.  Only once everyone has verbally affirmed they’re on board should the leader move to the next action item.

I’ve been doing this for a while in my own meetings and the ones we facilitate, and find it works wonders to get everyone on the same page.