Issues that were discussed and decided on in previous meetings sometimes re-emerge to be rehashed. This can be very discouraging to the group or committee. Some reasons for this include:
- People were not aware that a conclusive decision was actually made regarding a specific issue.
- People recall that a decision was made, but the record of it is not available.
- Dominant participants pushed through a decision in a previous meeting and silent participants begin to speak up afterwards.
How to prevent rehashing
A group leader can do several things to prevent and or derail the rehashing of previous decisions.
- For groups that meet regularly, someone is responsible for keeping meeting notes, agendas and supporting documents in one place where they can be referenced later. Ideally these past decisions should be available during the meeting as a reference
- Electronic storage of minutes on web sites or shared drives makes it possible to search for key words or phrases.
- Use decision-making and prioritizing techniques that involve everyone, including less verbal members. See Silent Participants.