This handbook on group decision-making for those wanting to operate in a consensus fashion stresses the advantages of informal, common sense approaches to working together. It describes how any group can put these approaches into practice, and relates numerous examples of situations in which such approaches have been applied.

Managing Meetings to Build Consensus

Managing meetings to build consensus
David A.Straus

Face-to-face meetings are the building blocks of consensus-based processes. Such meetings must be well planned and well facilitated, however, to be productive—to enable participants to make steady progress toward reaching agreement. Poorly run meetings leave participants frustrated, angry, and (rightly) feeling that they have wasted their time. Let's look at a hypothetical case.

Maria sees a flyer posted in the window of the local coffee shop about a public meeting to take place next Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at the community center. The purpose of the meeting, according to the flyer, is to discuss the possibility of building a new elementary school in town. Maria has two young children, so this piques her interest. The flyer ...

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