On conflict and consensus: A handbook on formal consensus decisionmaking

Butler, C. L., & Rothstein, A. (2007). On conflict and consensus: A handbook on formal consensus decisionmaking. Creative Commons.

From the text: Formal Consensus is a specific kind of decision-making. It must be defined by the group using it. It provides a foundation, structure, and collection of techniques for efficient and productive group discussions. The foundation is the commonly-held principles and decisions which created the group originally. The structure is predetermined, although flexible. The agenda is formal and extremely important. The roles, techniques, and skills necessary for smooth operation must be accessible to and developed in all members. Evaluation of the process must happen on a consistent and frequent basis, as a tool for self-education and self-management. Above all, Formal Consensus must be taught. It is unreasonable to expect people to be familiar with this process already. In general, cooperative nonviolent conflict resolution does not exist in modern North American society. These skills must be developed in what is primarily a competitive environment. Only time will tell if, in fact, this model will flourish and prove itself effective and worthwhile.

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