Section | Chapter 4 Table of Contents |
Consensus is a way of working
together as a group to reach a decision/solution with which everyone
is comfortable. It is an informal discussion involving talking things
through, understanding what other people are saying and feeling, and
then trying to work out decisions which are acceptable to everyone.
Everyone must be a part of the decision and be satisfied with it. When
a decision is reached, the group shapes it and puts it into words which
everyone understands. Everyone agrees, unlike the concept of majority
rules where many people can leave a decision-making process feeling
Here are some helpful
things to know about consensus:
Consensus may take longer than a voting process because everyone
must be part of, understand and agree with the decision that is being
Trying to come up with solutions that the whole group can accept.
Understanding the needs, feeling and ideas of everyone is important.
Bringing out disagreement and seeing the value and truth in what everyone
Coming up with new ideas.
Recognizing that everyone has rights whether they agree with us or not.
Assessment and Follow-up
1. Were you able to reach
consensus? What helped or hurt your reaching one? In
what ways did you like using consensus, rather than a vote to try to
reach this decision? In what ways did you dislike it?
2. What satisfied you about
working towards consensus? What frustrated you?
3. Why is consensus a useful
idea to know about?
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