How to Lead by Consensus

Taken from Kenneth Gangel’s Feeding and Leading (195-198)

Each member has one voice
            It’s not a vote.  It’s a voice. 

Each member has a responsibility to express his or her opinion
            “Not a week later!  Not out in a parking lot after the meeting!  Not in a whisper to the person next to him!  Carefully, lovingly, clearly, and gently in the meeting where all the concerned, interdependent decision-makers have gathered to deal with the issue!”

Each member must listen respectfully to all other options
            “Nobody has a corner on God’s truth—not the chairman and not the pastor…We’re seeking the mind of the Spirit of God as He gives each one of us wisdom; and we know truth could come from anyone (remember the disciples discounting Mary’s record of the resurrection of Jesus.)”

Each member must detach himself emotionally from his own ideas
            “The mature person can suggest an idea, ‘place it on the table,’ and deliberately allow his fellow decision-makers to weigh it, evaluate it, attack it, build on it, and take it in different directions because that is precisely his role as a member of the decision-making group.  When they attack his idea he understands full well they are not attacking him.”

Each member must publicly support the group’s decision.
            “Consensus does not mean total unanimity.  It means that a group of people operating in informed, spiritual accountability has made a decision which they will now present to the larger group of people who have authorized them to make that decision.”

Each member must keep group processes confidential.