A method to help teams determine what level of agreement is needed and how to get to closure on a decision.
To determine what the group would mean by consensus and how far they are from that point.
Setting: markers, white board and 'Post It' notes.
Number of participants: 26-50
Types of participants: any
Pre-Work Required: If the facilitator determines the levels of agreement then that should be done before the session.
Type of Facilitator-Client Relationship: Some level of trust
1. Show the group a continuum of positions on a flipchart line on the wall (see download for this method).
2. In the example there are five:
- Great idea;
- I don't like it but I can live with it;
- We need to talk further; and
- Block - I cannot agree.
3. Ask the group to decide how to discuss the differences.
4. Take a poll of the current position of each individual.
- Have everyone place themselves on the ruler for where they stand on the decision.
- Once people have placed themselves, conduct the discussion according to the rules the group has decided, for instance,
o ask the "talk further" and "block" people to give their reasons,
o see if there are suggestions to improve the decision,
o have everyone place themselves again.
Continue until you meet the rules the group chose to comprise a decision.
Follow-Up Required: None
Usual or Expected Outcomes: an understanding of what the group would take as different levels of agreement to mean that they have reached a consensus.
How success is evaluated: clarity is reached
Source: Sam Kaner
Derived from: "Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making (Paperback)" by Sam Kaner, Lenny Lind, Catherine Toldi, Sarah Fisk, Duane Berger
History of Development: Unknown