A critical meeting. You want your people intensively engaged. Totally present, focused, and deeply processing the issue. So how can you tell if they’re giving you their best? Here’s one way:
At the start of the meeting state that you expect each of them, at some point, to ask their one best question. An incisive question that reflects a deep understanding of the issue or deep insight into its implications. If they come up with a conclusion or recommendation, they should word it as a question. Tell them you’ll be evaluating their one best questions.
Give them feedback. Recognize those whose questions are outstanding. Challenge those whose questions are not. Push them to think deeply.
If it’s that important and you need their best, then expect their best. One question. Their one best question.