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Helena

There are many ways you can gain consensus with your peers. One should be able to provide lot of information about the topic in which they want someone to agree with. There are other parts such as negotiating and hearing the others points of views. One should explain the pros and benefits of the topic in order to show why they should agree on something. In other cases having strong relationships with your peers and having trust helps to make it easier for someone to agree with you. Some successes in gaining consensus with my peers were definitely having the trust and relationship. Some failures were trying to be to authoritative and demanding without giving explanation. My peers did not react well to "being told" they have to agree or that there was not a choice in something. Gaining consensus with your peers is a little different from talking with my supervisor about similar matters because they are in upper management and it is more about persuading them into changing or understanding something. Management is there to see you and observe you as well as make ultimate decisions.

Charlene

Gaining consensus with my peers can either be a challenge or something that comes very easily. One way that I find it is easy is when we are having an open discussion about the topic discussing the challenges and the benefits, roles and being overall transparent with whatever the topic may be. I believe that having clear and direct communication with your peers builds trust and can get them to come onboard with different ideas and ways of working. Where I work, I manage a dental office where I report to my operations manager. She is very open to ideas that will help the office work more effectively and efficiently. As long as I come to her with facts and proof that my proposal will work, she allows me to try it out to gather data on what works and what may need improvement. I do believe that getting consensus with team members is different than getting consensus with a supervisor. Because ultimately they would be the ones to make the call on whether or not an idea stays or if it does not. I believe that when trying to get a consensus going with a supervisor you need to come with a solid foundation for your reasoning, risks and benefits so that they can analyze and make an informed decision on whether or not they agree with your proposal.

Question 1. Speaking of connecting dots:

(1) process - a series of steps (actions) taken in order to achieve a end result

(2) consensus- general agreement

Then it follows -

A consensus process has steps associated with it, in order to achieve agreement. Placing those critical thinking caps on, what are some of those steps?

Question 2. "Gaining consensus with peers is communicating about the processes and updates. Asking questions to get clarification on something that may have changed and what other thoughts are about it"

Reflect on that Gemba walk conducted. Did you effectively communicate to those being observed, what the process selected was? what the goal of the Gemba walk was? Did you perceive that consensus was reached (general agreement) or did you validate consensus was reached? If the latter, how so?

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Q1:

Helena

Helena provides a very brief and effective guideline to creating a well-organized communication strategy for building consensus among peers. According to her, it is important to provide relevant information on the topic that needs consensus along with the ability to summarize on the key points of discussion that have been agreed and disagreed upon. She also states that it is vital to build a relationship of trust and friendship among peers to successfully arrive at a consensus or agreement.

Helena's points of views are justified as these are the principle steps that need to be followed to arrive at a consensus among peers. In addition, it is also vital to understand the audience or the mindset of the peers to alleviate their pain points and/or address interests of the group in question. Such strategies would help identify a common goal and narrow down on issues that need to be resolved to reach an agreement. (Seven Essential Steps In Creating A Communications Strategy That Works, 2017)

Common steps that need to be followed would therefore include:

- Understanding peer interests and identifying key areas of similarities and differences

- Find a common goal or "common interest"

- Being open to suggestions for change on differences

- Maintaining trust and friendship among group members

Charlene:

Charlene's responses provide a similar perspective but with emphasis on factors such as "direct communication with peers" with open and transparent modes of communication. It is important that discussions turn to agreements with clear goals and perspectives. For such, it is important to identify benefits and challenges concerning the topic that needs consensus. "Consensus decision making is a creative and dynamic way of reaching an agreement," (Seed for Change) with "commitment to reach a consensus."

Literature studies suggest that to reach a consensus, it is necessary to have respectful dialogue among equals or peers. Other necessary conditions are as follows:

- Sufficient time for reaching the consensus would allow for resolution of outstanding issues

- Peers also need to actively participate to reach an agreement with a committed mind set

 

im.png

 

A simplistic representation of the decision making process has been depicted by the diagram where the process begins with a wide range of people with distinct ideas in a group. Such variety of ideas initiate a broad range of discussions among peers and "similarities" and "differences" are summarized at this stage. It then evokes that stage where creative solutions need to be introduced to synthesize a proposal for agreement.


Steps to achieve End result:

The final outcome of a process of communication or decision making is defined to be an end result. It could be achieved through steps as follows:

1. Discuss the issue at hand among peers to identify similarities and dissimilarities

2. Make a list of challenges and seek every member's opinion on dissimilarities and goals

3. Resort to direct and open means of communication and be a good listener to resolve

4. Resolve each issue at hand with available resources, measures and techniques

5. Finalize a common goal to achieve an end result

 

ima.pngSteps to achieve a Consensus:

Consensus decision making requires five steps (How to Reach a Consensus, 2019):

1. Inclusion of as many participants as possible concerned with the decision. In case of non inclusion, opinion of stake holders and concerned persons need to be taken

2. Cooperation - all members need to come up with concerns and suggestions that address the issue

3. Egalitarianism should be maintained where all peers are treated equally

4. Decisions on how the group can reach an agreement needs to be found'

5. Apply the simple decision rule of finding the majority to reach a consensus or agreement


Q2

The relational dynamics with a boss is different compared to those of the peers. In case of the boss, communication does not happen among equals and therefore involves additional factors other than openness and trust. (Green, 2013).

Communication barriers with higher management may include - gaining the trust of higher management during project execution, non conformity of project objectives with organizational goals, lack of solutions to address possible hurdles and lack of vision to achieve a target. Differences in perception and view point, work place politics and partiality could be some of the major issues in dealing with higher management. In addition, there may be hurdles with expectations and prejudices attached to stereotype outcomes.
It is therefore important to address such issues with:

Seeking first opinion of the boss with information and data

- It's very important to be specific with the boss on unresolved matters and seek his opinion first

- Having a full understanding of the issue at hand inclusive of pros and cons is key to convincing a boss. This factor relates to the business case or proposal that needs to be substantiated with information and data before initiating discussions with boss

Decisions may involve fine tuning with business objectives

Convincing a boss may be part of a company's (business) decision making process. Decisions have to be in line with company (business) objectives, values and mission and thereby fulfill business goals. So in such decisions it is more than just "winning the boss's heart."

Offering preemptive solutions to problems helps convince higher management

It may be also necessary to understand pitfalls better as much as goals and find preemptive solutions to possible hurdles. In winning an agreement with a boss, one may have to seek permission for limited time experiments on a trial basis.

Building employee reputation with performance objectives

It is unlikely that a boss would feel convinced with an employee or sub ordinate's perspectives when the employee doesnot have good performance records. So a reputation that one has is an excellent performer builds on the reliability factor and it becomes easier for the boss to rely on the employee's proposal.

Starting with small steps to achieve a higher goal

A project or an objective may be broken down into several steps and step wise objectives may be targeted to convince higher management on outcomes.

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