There is rarely pure consensus in the real world of organizations.
What can be achieved is Practical Consensus:
Achieving practical consensus starts with the recognition that on virtually any
there will be a variety of legitimate views. After reviewing them all, the team agrees to
act in a
unified manner in order to meet the needs of its customers (either internal or
Practical Consensus exists when:
1. All members have been heard from, fully, frankly and respectfully, and have honestly
and sincerely expressed their views and feelings. (The role Meeting Manager is critical
2. All views have been weighed without prejudice. (Participants should keep their minds
open, and argue not to win but to help achieve their "desired outcome.") Win-Win
attitudes are crucial.
3. All relevant information has been shared equally among team members.
4. No egos have got in the way!
5. All members are willing to act as though the decision were their own.
Practical Consensus can be achieved when team members:
6. Avoid "arguing" for a point of view, but approach the task on the basis of
logic and data.
7. Resist the temptation to change their minds simply to duck conflict or reach an
8. Support solutions that they can go along with, even if they're not (apparently)
9. Avoid "conflict-reducing" strategies, such as majority voting, averaging,
10. View differences of opinion as a help towards clarification or unexpected