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Consensus decision-making

Consensus decision-making

A framework to group decision making: How to bring people towards the same goal

Edson Hilios

June 05, 2020

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  1. How to reach consensus? To ensure the agreement or consent

    of all participants is valued, many groups choose unanimity or near-unanimity as their decision rule.
  2. Consensus decision-making Consensus is a group process in which members

    develop, and agree to support a decision in the best interest of the whole group or common goal. It is about finding an acceptable resolution, one that can be supported, even if not the "favourite" of each individual.
  3. Consensus building • Write the proposals in a board; •

    Use non-verbal validation; • Do not change your mind to avoid conflict; • Seek the most acceptable alternative; • Avoid taking votes;
  4. Blocking • Block from two or more people to put

    a proposal aside; • Try to supply an alternative proposal for the blocked one; • Limiting each person's option to block consensus to a handful of times.
  5. Adversarial debating • Moderator; • Fact-checker; • Everybody must have

    opportunity to speak; • Time box of 6 minutes per person; • One rebuttal of 3 minutes per person;
  6. Communicating & listening effectevly • Speak your needs rather than

    your desires; ◦ Avoid words such as "should" or "must", try "I need" instead; and ◦ Avoid generalizations: "always", "never", "often" or "generally"; • Acknowledge your colleagues opinions; ◦ Use mirroring; ◦ Try to ask questions instead of rebuking; ◦ Express where others needs does not meet yours and why;
  7. A safe place for discussion • Do not interrupt; •

    Use appropriate tone of voice; • Do not disagree with for the sake of disagreeing; • Try to not exaggerate evidence to suit your case; • Focus on ideas rather than people; • Highlight the positives and negatives clearly;
  8. COnflict resolution • The 70% rule: If you agree to

    almost of it you are all in; • Ask your self: What is the one thing you would change in order to make this decision one you can support? • Help your colleagues find middle-ground;