When making decisions as a team aim for soft consensus

Sometimes there are decisions to be made in a team and sometimes we don’t all agree on what to do. If the discussion is dragging on it’s easy to just vote on it and move on.

For a high-performance team this is a mistake. If you want everyone to remain fully commited to the success of the team you cannot afford to trample objections like that.


The standard for teams should be soft consensus:

  1. The proposal passes only if there is no one clearly against it. Everyone is either supporting it or doesn’t care either way.
  2. If there is even one person clearly against it we modify the proposal until that person can at least live with it. Otherwise the proposal is rejected.

If you care about your team don’t be impatient; work out a soft consensus.

If you have deep, persistent disagreements you need to seriously consider reforming your team rather than imagine that forcing someone to accept a majority decision will not hurt that persons commitment to the team.