This month, participants in our free monthly video call, “Deepening the Art of Facilitating Consent,” asked me to send out one of the slides I used.  The topic of the call was The Difference Between Consent and Consensus, and the point I made was: perhaps the real difference is not in the process we use to make decisions, but in the practices we use to get there.

One practice that transforms the culture of meetings is between debate and dialogue.  So, here is the slide for everyone. For easier printing, here is the original.

It’s obvious that U.S. politics is entrenched in debate — but so are most of our working groups, board rooms, steering committees, leadership teams, and dinner tables.

Which column best describes your groups’ culture?  Does it feel like a culture of dialogue, until hot topics come up?  Whether you are using the principle of consent or a consensus process for decision-making, but operate from a culture of debate, you are likely to experience challenges.

On the call, one of the participants noticed in her organization, that some circles operated more from a culture of dialogue, while others got stuck arguing their positions.

Today, we’re living in the in-between-cultures time.  Even those of us who value a culture of dialogue can see clearly from our own experience that it takes learning, practice and support.  

I hope this chart comes in handy for all you collaborative leaders out there, who can help the group reflect on its processes. 

And, we are here to help when your team wants to learn consent-based decision-making together!

If you’d like to know more about how your organization can cultivate a culture of Consent, contact us.

We’d love to hear about your work.

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