What Is Consensus Agreement

Other common decision-making options in voluntary groups and co-operatives are an elected committee or direct vote on each decision. These methods have their advantages, and each group must decide what is best for them. Here we explain what we consider to be the advantages of consensus over these options. We`ve also included the “informal hierarchy” – which describes a situation where groups try to use consensus, but some people have much more control than others. “There was no agreement between theory and measurement” Leverage all the experience, knowledge and wisdom in your group. Make sure everyone is heard. In particular, try to encourage everyone to express disagreements and reservations, which can be difficult when a majority (or a few) are enthusiastic. Consensus can take a lot of commitment and patience to make it work. Everyone has to be willing to really try it. This means sticking to the process instead of moving to a majority vote if you disagree. It also requires people to dedicate time and energy to developing equality in your group.

Meeting everyone`s basic needs means recognizing and removing barriers that cause some people to be less heard than others, whether in terms of group structure or interpersonal dynamics. Similarly, a commitment to consensus means recognizing and appreciating all the many ways in which group members differ from each other – both in the solutions they want and in what they need from a meeting to be able to participate in decision-making. Some proponents of consensus decision-making consider that procedures that use majority rule are undesirable for several reasons. Majority decisions are seen as competitive rather than cooperative, framing decision-making in a win/lose dichotomy that ignores the possibility of compromise or other mutually beneficial solutions. [43] Carlos Santiago Nino, on the other hand, argued that majority rule leads to better counseling practice than alternatives, as it requires each member of the group to make arguments that please at least half of the participants. [44] A. Lijphart comes to the same conclusion about majority rule, noting that majority rule favours coalition formation. [45] Moreover, opponents of majority rule argue that it can lead to a “tyranny of the majority,” a scenario in which a majority places its interests so far above those of an individual or minority group that it constitutes active oppression. However, some electoral theorists argue that majority rule can actually prevent the tyranny of the majority, in part because it maximizes a minority`s potential to form a coalition that can overturn an unsatisfactory decision. [45] Agree on another decision-making procedure to which all parties can engage.


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