If you want to reach consensus, you need to know what matters.
Why did they make that choice?
When members of your group pick different options, it is likely that they’re either not taking into account the same factors, or those factors are influencing them in different ways.
Agreeing on where to go to lunch is a good example of factors influencing people in different ways…
John: “I want to go to the New York Deli because I love their Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich!”
Tana: “I don’t eat pork!”
The factor (a BLT on the menu) attracts John but repels Tana. This sort of thing happens all the time and is to be expected.
This is one of the reasons that we need to be a bit more sophisticated than just organizing factors into “Pros” and “Cons” - it’s all in the eye of the beholder. You love it, I hate it.
Our process for reaching a decision needent be overly complicated, but when we do find ourselves unable to agree, then knowing why each person made the choice that they did becomes truly important.
When people choose an option, give them an option to list the factors that influenced them to make their choice - and give everyone else the option of weighing in on those factors. Maybe you agree, maybe you disagree, maybe you don’t care. Once everybody knows what everyone else is thinking, then they’re more likely to find a choice that’s acceptable to everyone (or at least the majority).
Photo by Anthony Martino on Unsplash