4 touch points for more successful meetings
Which is more important: Consensus or consent? This is a question that should beg itself to anyone who attends one of many business meetings. Most often, people attempt to reach consensus. A lot of time is spent striving for the all but impossible consensus. Problem with that is that it is a close relative to compromise. I give a little, and you give a little, and voila we have reached a compromise and thus can reach consensus on an issue. The counterproductive result is neither party gets what they really wanted. Perhaps worse, the issue is so watered down that the initial intent is totally missed and the whole team loses.
Why spend the time and energy convincing the others that everyone needs to approve and also needs to like the final result?
- It is much better to make your point and see if it can get the majority supporting it. That is best done by the meeting facilitator who lists all the solutions to the issues at hand.
- This is followed by putting this list up on e.g. a whiteboard and letting everybody vote for their top three solutions. This way you will shrink down and perhaps consolidate your long list.
- Now instead of focusing on getting everybody to give a little to take a little, drive home the point being able to consent to an idea / concept.
- Consent is different as it only requires for everyone to be committed to moving ahead with whatever the team finally decides to do.
The fine but important line between consent and consensus is worth hours and oodles of frayed nerves none of which any leader-manager ought to jeopardize in regular business meetings. Don’t settle, but seek consent and commitment to the agreed upon goals. Get involved and make sure your designated meeting facilitator is on board with the concept.