What is a Consensus Decision?
A consensus based approach strives for the full empowerment and involvement of all group members when making a decision. Consensus is generally understood to mean that everyone involved has had a chance to participate, understand the decision, and is prepared to support it, even if some disagree.
The consensus approach can produce a high-quality decision that builds community with strong commitment to each other and to the decision. The future ability of the group to solve problems is enhanced. Consensus is useful for serious, important, complex decisions that affect a lot of people. This method takes a great deal of time and energy. Consensus is hard to achieve in a large group and requires a rich exchange of ideas and information, but the payoff is significant.
The purpose of consensus based decision making is:
Basic Steps for Consensus
Trust Needed for Healthy Discussion
In order for this approach to work, we have to demonstrate our trust in each other. We need to feel safe enough to disagree with each other openly and respectfully. No matter what someone says or feels, we are all in this together and we stick together as one body no matter what, especially when we disagree.