Like any method of decision making, consensus can work better in theory than in practise. However, most of the sticking points stem from lack of experience, or the fact that the conditions for consensus aren’t being met.
Consensus Decision Making
Trying to find consensus in a large group brings its own challenges. Here you’ll find lots of tips for making consensus work in large groups, including an outline of the spokescouncil.
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.
Some basic guidelines for participating in consensus decision making.
“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!”
There are lots of consensus models out there, some groups have developed very detailed procedures, other groups follow a more organic process
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.
Different groups use slightly different processes to achieve consensus decisions. However, in every group, there are a few conditions that underpin consensus building…
Consensus is not a new idea. Variations of consensus have been tested and proven around the world and through time.
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.