Basics of Consensus

A decision-making process that many co-ops use is consensus. Consensus is a process of building united judgment whose purpose is not to avoid conflict but to bring out all opinions and perspectives. Each position has a responsibility to present facts and perceptions which are not being considered, to explain her or his position clearly and rationally, and to question the other positions so as to reach full understanding of their positions. The minority has a special responsibility to point out the shortcoming of the majority position, while the majority has a special responsibility to answer all the misgivings of the minority on the question and to assure them that the question will continue to be re-evaluated. In reaching a decision by consensus, the emphasis is on resolving differences and arriving at the best possible solution for the entire group.