For years I employed the “Final Suggestion Maneuver” in meetings in
which I knew that opinions would vary and that only my own opinion has
any value. In other words, I used it in every meeting I ever attended.
The success rate of this approach is nothing short of astonishing… It
works like this.
Let everybody else make moronic suggestions.
Stay uninvolved while the participants shred each other’s
suggestions like crisp cabbage in a Cuisinart. Watch as they
develop intense personal dislikes that will last their entire
Toward the end of the allotted meeting time, when patience is thin
and bladders are full, offer your suggestion. Describe it as a
logical result of the good thoughts you’ve heard at the meeting,
no matter how ridiculous that might be.
If you time it right, all the participants will be feeling a sense of
incredible frustration and physical discomfort and will realize that
your suggestion is the fastest way to end the horror of the meeting.
By disguising your suggestion as a composite of the participants’
thoughts you minimize their need to attack you to defend their
You’ll look like the rational deal-maker while the other participants
look like partisan whiners. The only downside is that you won’t be
singularly identified with the idea if it works. But that’s typically
not a problem, since most ideas don’t work. And your boss takes credit
for the ones that do.