John’s Recon

Consensus

Consensus is:

  • Finding a proposal acceptable enough that all members can support it. (It may not be anyone’s FIRST choice, but it is the decision that everyone agrees that they can live with and actively support.)
  • No member opposes it.
  • Everyone has had an opportunity to be heard and can actively support the decision.

Consensus is not:

  • A unanimous vote — a consensus might not represent everyone’s first priorities
  • A majority vote — in a majority vote, only the majority gets something they are happy with; people in the minority might get something they don’t want at all, which is not what consensus is all about.
  • Everyone TOTALLY satisfied.

Consensus requires:

  • Time
  • Active participation of all group members
  • Skills in communication — listening, conflict resolution, discussion facilitation
  • Creative thinking and open-mindedness

This is a definition I have had hanging on my wall almost 20 years.  I don’t know who said it but it is spelled out nicely.

1 Comment »

  1. […] the different sides of a controversial topic come together more toward a middle ground building a consensus. This is success … arguing through all sides of an issue that others can read later helps […]

    Pingback by What would be considered success in our Conversation Network « John’s Recon — December 12, 2008 @ 8:01 am


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