Consensus building is a “buzz word” in our work lives. Some of our leaders have a gift for doing this, gathering groups of people with conflicting opinions on complex issues and helping them reach agreement on a fair compromise to future direction. Working in the environmental field we got to see this process in action in many situations. I was personally involved in a technical advisory group in Jacksonville, appointed to a board by a local trade organization to help local regulators and stakeholders reach consensus on changing wastewater regulations.
At the end of the day, building consensus in our lives leads to self-respect and garnering the respect of others. First, let’s look at the process of how consensus is built in the professional world. Then we can look at an idea of how to apply it to our daily lives, and discuss the implications of using this process to build respect in one-on-one relationships, and within groups.