Consensus building is a key skill for any leader to learn. By working to build consensus, a leader empowers team members to express disagreements and collaborate on solutions. This ultimately leads to better and more informed decisions. Building consensus also builds internal support for a decision. Those that participate in a decision are much more likely to fully embrace it. The result is immediate and motivated execution.
Unfortunately, consensus is difficult. It takes time and effort to build consensus. It takes humility and compromise to lead a team through a decision making process. The leader who builds consensus must learn to listen, find common ground, and embrace ideas that are not their own. If these obstacles can be overcome, the consensus will yield:
- better decisions, empowered by multiple perspectives and insights
- fully engaged and motivated team members
- organizational buy-in, even to difficult decisions
- effective communication about both the what and the why of the decision
- accelerated results, due to the advantages noted above
Consensus can be a powerful leadership tool that yields magnificent results. The next time you are faced with a difficult decision, consider facilitating the decision instead of making the decision.