As a group, you have to make a decision together. The three steps of the Triple C Method provide a precise decision method.
Whether you are a self-managing group, a Works Council or management board, sometimes you need to make decisions that are supported by everyone. For transparent decision-making, follow the three steps of the Triple C Method: Collect, Consider and Conclude.
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If you use this method for the first time (or the second time), you may get very impatient during the ‘Collect’ step … you think or feel things are progressing very slowly. So be warned: there are three steps, but they don’t all take the same time.
The first step, Collect, can take over three-quarters of the time for the Triple C Method. So, if you’re working with the Triple C Method for an hour, three-quarters of that time can be spent on Collecting. But have faith, it will all work out in the end! There is only one way that works faster than the Triple C Method: if ’the boss’ decides for the whole group without explanation or consultation.
Collecting means sharing information without judgment
Gather all the information (emails, documents, letters, reports, press releases, etc.) on the subject and allow everyone in the group to read and understand it. In this phase, you will share all the information you have or can obtain.
Very important: please refrain from making a judgment during this phase! You should not have any opinion on the subject, question, person or action at this stage. You should only ask questions to complete your picture of the situation. You share all the information you have with the entire group.
Collecting: the questions
Talk to each other. Use the following questions as an example:
- which sources and documents have been consulted?
- do we have all the referenced reports and documents?
- what is the current situation?
- what is the desired situation (as described in the document)?
- who came up with the idea?
- what do others think?
- what are the alternatives?
- has someone thought of this before?
- what is the reason we are doing it?
- are there any rules and laws?
- what does the process look like so far?
- what are the process steps after this one?
How do you talk to each other? Think of a ‘question round’ with all attendees, talk to each other, ask if you don’t understand something. You can also brainstorm, use a mind map (spidergram), make notes on a whiteboard or flipchart, as long as everyone shares all the information.
the result of Collecting
The result of this first step is that everyone comes to the same level of information. All members of the group have the same picture of the situation. There are no more questions about the ‘how’ or the ‘why’. But you don’t have an opinion about it yet; no opinion or judgment until the end of this phase.
Considering means you determine what you think of it
Now it’s time to Consider what you think about all the information you’ve shared. Ask questions, listen to the others, respect each other’s opinions given without any restraint. But ask (many) questions.
Considering: the questions
For example, to Consider the information, use the following questions and/or statements:
- it should lead to positive short-term financial results
- what are we concerned about? (what would reduce these concerns?)
- it should not lead to a loss of quality
- can it be explained?
- can it be done without forced redundancies?
- what are the conditions?
For example, use dialogue (let the other person tell their story, completely and without interruption), ask each other’s opinion and ask about each other’s interests and motivation(s).
the result of Considering
After the second step, everyone is aware of the common interest and any individual interests are clear. The group is also aware of the criteria and the conditions.
Concluding means taking the only logical decision together
This is the briefest phase of the three: if everyone has the same vision and all opinions are clear… there can only be one conclusion!
Concluding: the questions
In this phase, you will answer one or more of the following questions:
- what do we decide?
- what are we going to do?
- does everyone know what decision has been taken?
- does everyone agree with the decision?
You can decide by consensus, but also by voting. Or by asking a question, with the apparent conclusion also being the only right conclusion.
the result of Concluding
The final result is that you have a joint conclusion, supported by all. The conclusion can be anything: an opinion, an action plan, a purchase or sale, a direction for the future. The important thing is that everyone knows what has been concluded and why. And most importantly, everyone supports the group’s conclusion.
does the Triple C Method always work?
No. The Triple C Method is not a solution for every issue within a group. However, it is one of the best methods if you have to reach a conclusion.
The first few times you apply this method, it can be difficult to separate the three phases. It can be tempting to go straight from Collecting to Concluding. It may be useful to appoint a group member as a process monitor or to hire a coach who will teach you these steps so that you can apply the method yourself.
Are you finding it difficult, or do you have questions? Do you want to learn how to apply the Triple C Model even better? Please contact us. We are happy to help you and your group.
Note: Please note that we are a Dutch organisation and that all our information is originally composed in Dutch. For the benefit of our English-speaking customers we have translated some of our online information. We are still in the process of translating even more of our information. It could therefore be that you will come across Dutch pages on CT2.nl. Please contact us if you would like more information.