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Friday, October 24, 2014

Reaching Consensus on Key Decisions as a Self Directed Work Team

Consensus is about agreement and support, unlike voting which is just about agreement. It's a belief that when you disagree, you see something another person isn't able to see. Therefore, the goal is not to push past you, but to try to understand what you see.

It's not about voting or any decision-making process that divides the team by leaving one group winners and another group losers. Consensus was founded by Quakers who called it "participatory humility" and because of this ideal way to collaborate teams find clarity and union around the many decisions they have to make as they become self-directed.

Rules of Consensus
  • Everyone must feel they have had a chance to be heard. This is why it is so important for the Facilitator to "scoop" everyone into the discussion. A good Facilitator will not call for consensus unless all have had an opportunity to be heard on a topic
  • Everyone must agree that they can "live with the decision." This doesn't mean it's their favorite decision, just one that they can live with.
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