If in any meeting the higher in rank talks first, the others will follow, and this kills initiative and creativity.
Next time you have a meeting with a team, ask the person in charge to follow this process:
- ask a question
- have everyone vote secretly (write on a paper) their answers
- reveal all the answer and have a discussion
- Are we ready to ship the product? (open questions are better, but for the sake of making a simple example I go against my own rules)
- People write their answers
- If the answers are different then have a chat, possibly with the leader staying silent, unless a final word is needed.