Gaining Consensus

Convincing others to move forward with an idea isn’t always easy. And if an idea has an element of financial risk or there’s another perceived possible downfall in the equation, there tends to be resistance. Some people resist an idea until they can be rationally persuaded. Others need to feel emotionally safe to really consider the idea. Some will resist change at nearly any cost.

#Consensus fundamentally means agreement. Gaining agreement indicates that there has been some process of inclusion in moving forward with a plan. To be clear, it doesn’t mean that everyone agrees but that everyone in some way has input in the process. A majority vote may move an idea forward, but the minority opinions have at least been acknowledged.

Gaining consensus is not only important when possible, in organizations but even in families. Ultimately, there may be decisions made for the safety or the financial stability of the group even if there is disagreement. But at least members have an input in some way.

When approaching others, even children, your body language makes a statement beyond your words. Also, your choice of words and how you state them makes a vast difference in the outcome. Consider the contrast between “you have to” versus “it looks like we may need.” Both have the same goal in mind but are said differently.

If, for instance, you need someone to improve a particular behavior in an organization or at home, think about the difference in the phrasing “you need to stop” versus “I need your help with.” You can gain consensus with different word phrases. In fact, sometimes, you can gain consensus or buy-in from another person based on one word.

This is not to say that sometimes you just have to make a decision knowing that it will be an unpopular one. When you can gain consensus, it is more likely that the idea will be solid and successful. Reach out to us today to help you and your organization gain consensus