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Consensus is killing the difficult conversations

Consensus is killing the difficult conversations

In many cultures around the world we’re taught to be nice to people, to be a team player, and to show respect for elders and hierarchies. All nice things when considered in general, but potentially problematic in specific real-life situations. 

On top of the ideas from family and society, we’re influenced by ideas about the ideal power of collective intelligence, teamwork, and community, that oftentimes don’t explain what happens when someone is against the group or the status quo. 

These influences can make us believe that achieving consensus in any group is the right way to go to generate buy-in and engagement. Nevertheless, research and first-hand experience show that we need to dig down into these general ideas in order to build the mental models and group structures that allow for more productive collaboration. 

According to research, the main factor generating poor decision making is the lack of divergent thinking.

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