This month’s Quick Question is:

During project initiation, there are sometimes debriefings, brainstorming and conversations that develop. How can I digest the information and figure out the next steps in the meeting. During a debrief it feels like information overload. I’m hearing it all for the first time. I’d like to leave with outcomes/an ask/a situational overview AND not overcommit myself.

Below is a summary of my answer to this. For the full response, watch the video.

  • Absorb as much information as you can: ask questions, phrase it back to the speaker, interrupt, take notes as you go.
  • Structure the information: aim to create a big picture view, look for patterns and groupings, elevate to the highest possible level and simplify
  • Think about what you can do with the information: pause and reflect, ask them what they think the next steps are, assess if anyone else needs to know, document decisions.