Reach consensus fast

If you want 100% consensus before you make a decision, chances are you’ll be waiting a long time. Rather than trying to elicit a “Yes” from every member of your team, follow these steps:

Redefine the term. If the majority or certain stakeholders agree, that can mean consensus. Just decide what the majority percentage is and who is required to agree beforehand.

Set some boundaries. Ensure everyone has a say, but establish how long you will discuss an idea before you vote. And set some parameters on how many opposing arguments you will hear before you decide. People can always find something to argue about. At some point, you will have to shut that down and move forward.

Expect people to accept the decision. People don’t have to like the decision, but they must do everything in their power to ensure that the outcome is a success. That means they stop the complaining and focus on executing.

— Adapted from “Consensus Doesn’t Mean Everyone Agrees,” Linda Finkle, Incedo Group,

Tough Talks D