I’ve met leaders who think consensus means team members must find their way to the same page. When that doesn’t happen, those same leaders choose to mandate the buy-in they seek. Perhaps there is a middle approach that both respects the people and moves things forward.
How might you move from “seeking consensus” to “building consensus?”* What might change when you present your thinking, listen to feedback, tweak where possible and keep the loop open throughout the process, all the while knowing the general direction you are headed? Think about it. Which takes more time – seeking consensus or building consensus? Which is more effective for your organization?
* Remember – people are more inclined to be on-board when they feel that they’ve been truly heard even when the decision isn’t the one they favour.