Gaining Consensus

How do meeting leaders get others to commit verbally to new behaviors? Through consensus! It's defined as group solidarity in sentiment and belief. In practice, distinguishing between consensus and majority rule is sometimes difficult. Majority vote is probably the most common group decision-making procedure used today. Most people consider it democratic since it resembles our election system—51 percent of the vote wins. The problem is that the other 49 percent may feel a sense of loss and feel compromised. Arguments may occur just for the sake of argument, rather than having a basis in reasoning, and knowing they are in the minority causes some people to withhold their resources from groups. They may be in a position to sabotage ...

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