Achieving Consensus

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Achieving Consensus

People in teams, from the senior leadership team down to tech and product teams, often believe that they are aligned around a particular direction, and certainly usually aspire to be aligned. But actually achieving consensus is hard. Here are some tips for getting there.

  • Get people in a room talking – don’t try to achieve consensus via email or networking tools
  • Frame the topic and open the discussion
  • Get everyone to explain what they believe the strategy or direction to be, and get specific. It’s easy to sound aligned while the direction is at a high-level, but explaining what is actually meant can lead to different interpretations
  • Identify underlying concerns and make sure everyone has the opportunity to speak
  • Distil the points on which the team agrees and isolate the outstanding concerns for discussion and agreement – choose a direction
  • Play back to people what they have said and seek clarification that this is actually what was meant
  • Write it down in the session and get the team to agree that this is what was meant – this often leads to further discussion and clarification
  • Send round a communication after the session confirming what was agreed, and if possible do a face-to-face communication to explain it to the wider teams
  • Use the set of agreements in follow-up meetings and keep reinforcing what was agreed

If you need help in formulating a direction and getting consensus, please contact us.

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