Here's the decision-making trick the CEO of Spanx uses in meetings

Bad meetings can take many forms.

There’s the painfully boring meeting, the meeting you shouldn’t have been invited to, and the meeting that’s twice as long as it needs to be.

Then there’s another culprit: the meeting where it seems no decision will ever be made.

Thankfully, Jan Singer, chief executive of Spanx, might have the best tactic for making those meetings more productive: she suggests taking a vote.

“Sometimes there’s an issue on the table and the conversations and decisions can flip-flop all around just for the sake of conversation,” she explains to the New York Times’ Adam Bryant.

“So I’ll be curious about where the group is in that moment,” she says. “We’ll put the issues on the board, and we’ll vote. I vote last.”

This isn’t to say everyone’s vote has equal weight, Singer points out. Her vote weighs more than anyone else in a meeting. “I reserve the right to swing the vote,” she tells Bryant.

Singer says the problem with decision making is that people often get emotionally vested, making things all the more complicated. Having a vote on the board helps clarify things a bit.

“When things start to get hard about the decision we’ve made, we come back to that vote — if we want to change the vote, we can change the vote, but this was how we voted,” she explains.

Read the full New York Times interview here.

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