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Part III: Meeting to Achieve Consensus > Are You a Consensus Master?

Chapter 12. Are You a Consensus Master?

Whether you are the group leader or a group member, you can create and support a consensus-oriented environment.

  • Ask what decision style the group will use to reach decisions.

    Advocate consensus. Be prepared to educate the rest of the group as to why you advocate consensus. As a group, agree on the decision style. Now everyone will know how things will be decided and will feel more ownership.

  • Ask the group to define why everyone is there.

    Put it in writing. Make sure that all in the group agree to the reason or “mission” of the group. This will focus your work and the group will be more effective.

  • Gather information before making a decision.

    This will allow you and others a chance to participate and share information. The more the group can focus on commonly generated information and work together toward a group decision, the less likely that any one person will force through a win-lose position.

  • Ask for other people’s ideas.

    Encourage novel approaches and perspectives. Encourage those in positions of power to hold their ideas until last so that everyone gets a chance to participate. Make sure that all positions are heard and explored. Just because all ideas are communicated does not mean you have to agree with them.

  • Be honest with yourself and the group.

    Be aware of your own thoughts and biases on the issues. If you have concerns, speak up. Don’t wait until the meeting is over and then complain in the hallway.

  • Always check in with yourself and the group.

    Ask if the decision is something that you and everyone in the group can support.



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