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Teams In Trouble 6: Strategies for Consensus - - How To Avoid False Agreements

Everyone is in the room.  It’s time to make a decision and run with it.  You want buy-in from everyone.  You want consensus.

Agree But how do you know you’re truly building consensus?


A team recently met to decide on their top three departmental objectives for 2006. The decision would affect everyone in the department.

After 20 minutes of discussion, the team leader summed up what he thought were the top three objectives on the table. He then asked the group if there was a consensus in adopting his stated objectives. Some people nodded, others remained silent but did not raise any concerns. Based on what the leader observed, he felt a consensus had been reached. 

However, a week later he heard through the grapevine that a couple of his team members had serious reservations about the objectives and where the department will be focusing its future resources.  One member even said “there’s no way I’m going to support this!”

The team leader was heard saying “Why the hell didn’t someone speak up when I asked if we had a consensus?”

You are the facilitator and you’ve been called in to help the team.  What do you do?

Michaelgoldman_2I led a free teleclass today with my colleague Michael Goldman (pictured) of in which we address this situation.

Michael shared a proven process that helps teams build consensus.  His process answered the following questions:

-- What makes consensus building difficult to attain? 
-- Why is consensus the preferred decision-making option on teams?
-- What are the 3 key components of a consensus building process?

I shared one of my favorite teambuilding activities that helps teams EXPERIENCE what it takes to reach consensus in a conscious way.  Unlike in past Teams In Trouble TeleSeminars, I actually lead this experiential learning exercise LIVE with four volunteers from the class!

Listen to the 60 minute TeleSeminar now for free (limited time offer).  Click the link below to download the mp3 file.

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Download directions to the team building game Tom shared during the teleclass for free (limited time offer). 

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