Agreeing on how decisions will be made
Another type of ground rule is agreeing in advance how decisions will be made. The most common ways that decisions are made in committees or groups are through majority rule (voting) or consensus. Both methods have their strengths and limitations. Voting is expeditious, although a simple majority may not bode well for implementation.
Consensus may take longer to achieve, but can create high levels of support for implementation. A group is considered here to have reached consensus when it finally agrees on a choice and each group member can say:
· "I believe that others understand my point of view"
· "I believe I understand others' points of view"
· "Whether or not I prefer this decision, I support it (and will not undermine it) because it was arrived at openly and fairly and is the best solution for this committee or group at this time."
It is important to have agreement within any committee or working group on how decisions will be made whether by voting or consensus or some combination. This can avoid disputes later about whether or not important decisions were made properly.