Consensus decision making is a creative and dynamic way of reaching agreement between all members of a group.
How we make decisions is the key to how our society is organised. It influences every aspect of our lives including our places of work, local communities, health services, and even whether we live in war or peace.
Consensus decision making is based on the idea that people should have full control over their lives and that power should be shared by all rather than concentrated in the hands of a few.
Consensus is not a new idea. Variations of consensus have been tested and proven around the world and through time.
Different groups use slightly different processes to achieve consensus decisions. However, in every group, there are a few conditions that underpin consensus building…
The key for a group working towards consensus is for all members of the group express their needs and viewpoints clearly, recognise their common ground and find solutions to any areas of disagreement.
There are lots of consensus models out there, some groups have developed very detailed procedures, other groups follow a more organic process
“The bit of wasteland that we’ve used as a park for the last ten years is going to be sold by the council – they want to sell it so a supermarket can be built there!”
Some basic guidelines for participating in consensus decision making.
There are models for reaching a quick consensus that have been developed for fast moving situations such as actions and protests, where people only have a few minutes (at most) to come to a decision.