Consensus decision making – 4 steps to an informed decision

Whenever there is an important decision to be made, it is always advisory to take a general response. Even with your diagnosis, you prefer a second opinion. In the same way, the field of HR also demands to be heard in numbers. Be it a project, an issue, any objection or any decision, every leader wants to maximize the support and consensus. That brings us to our topic- Consensual decision making.

What this means is that the HR must take into consideration individual voices and not the views of a group or community and try to get affirmation from majority of individuals. Such a framework ensures certain things like:

  • Equality among the employees, everyone will have one vote with equal weight.
  • Transparency and consensus in office place.
  • Minority people who hesitate or do not get the opportunity to express their opinions are heard.
  • Satisfaction and support regarding any major policy.
  • Better and more innovative ideas are put forward in general consensus.
  • The burden of the decision gets distributed, no one person but the whole group is accountable for the choice and thus better decisions are made.
  • Expertise is provided by different people from different positions and industry.

How can we ensure a general consensus? Here are a few tips-

  1. Distinguish the urgent and important matters in a meeting where everyone of relevance is present.
  2. Prefer voting or count so that there is no ambiguity.
  3. Form clear consensus checkpoints like 2/3rd or 50%.
  4. Promote active listening and debating rather than directly jumping to solutions and conclusions.

What not to do at a general consensus meeting?

  • Do not invite people with no relevance to the motion, eg. people from different fields or who are unrelated to the issue or problem.
  • Do not let the minority club together and dominate.
  • No veto power should be handed to anyone.
  • Do not ignore a particular group or community.

With these things in mind, you can also get a clear yes or no on any situation at hand.

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