|Re: Consensus||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Rob Sandelin (robsanmicrosoft.com)|
|Date: Wed, 16 Mar 94 10:25 CST|
Stephen Lewin-Berlin Wrote: >I think that -consensus- is one of those words that has been misused and >abused to the point that it is difficult to know if people are speaking of >the same thing. On the issue at hand - coming to consensus on the name of a >group - I certainly believe that it can be done. My definition of consensus >does not require that everybody agrees that the decision made is their >*favorite* choice - merely that nobody is prepared to *block* the choice. In my very limited studies into consensus I have found that there seems to be two opposite operating definitions for consensus. In one definition, which I call passive consensus, A choice is made if no one blocks it. In the other definition, which I call active consensus, A choice is made, only if everyone affirms it. So far, and I will admit my knowledge and study of this is limited at this time, The passive consensus model seems to lead to false consensus more often than the active model does. False consensus is where a person goes along with a choice or decision without really supporting it because it would take too much energy or be too risky to block consensus. To stand against a whole group, even if it is the truth, takes enourmous courage which most people seldom can muster on a regular basis. One of the challenges inherent in using consensus is creating an environment which supports dissent and encourages people to speak their truth. If a person who takes the enourmous risk of speaking their truth, and their truth runs counter to the group, they need to be affirmed and supported, otherwise they will not share their truth, and the group is heading into false consensus, where you beleive you have everyone's agreement but really what you have is no one who is willing to risk disagreement. There are a couple of sIgns which indicate false consensus. The first is when what people say publically is not what they say privately in regards to a group consensus. Another sign is when a course of action or decision or agreement is not followed much, routinely ignored or outright rebelled against. In the active consensus model, each individual in turn must personally state that they affirm and support the decision as the best interest for the group. This takes longer, but in requiring each member to speak, it offers the opportunity to speak the truth. In the passive model, it is very easy to be silent and let a bad decision go forward. Rob Sandelin Puget Sound Cohousing Network Building a better society, one neighborhood at a time
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