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Consensus Through Conversations

Best Seller
Consensus Through Conversations by Larry Dressler
Paperback $15.95
Nov 12, 2006 | ISBN 9781576754191

Also available from:

  • Nov 12, 2006 | ISBN 9781576754191

    Also available from:

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Product Details

Praise

“In this wise and stimulating book, Dressler draws on his rich experience to show us how to bring our personal best to facilitating polarized group situations.”
—William Ury, coauthor of Getting to Yes and author of The Power of a Positive No

“An invaluable companion for all those who train, facilitate, run, or design high-stakes meeings…Dressler’s well of wisdom is awe-inspiring.”
—Susan Scott, author of Fierce Conversations and Fierce Leadership

“A book for anyone who feels called to stand in hard places and help people find life-giving ways to proceed.”
—Parker Palmer, author of A Hidden Wholeness, Let Your Life Speak, and The Courage to Teach

“Practical, insightful, and filled with entertaining stories. I recommend this book for anyone working in the arena of public engagement and deliberation.”
—Sandy Heierbacher, Director, National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation

Table Of Contents

Foreword by Pierre Gagnon
Preface
INTRODUCTION: THE NEW RULES OF DECISION-MAKING
CHAPTER 1: WHAT IS CONSENSUS?
Consensus Defined
Beliefs That Guide Consensus
Choosing the Right Decision-Making Approach
Alternatives to Consensus
Common Misconceptions
Consensus in Action
CHAPTER 2: HOW DO I PREPARE?
Determine Whether Consensus Is a Good Fit
Decide Who to Involve in the Decision
Enlist a Skilled Facilitator
Clarify the Group’s Scope and Authority
Educate Group Members
Develop an Agenda
Gather the Relevant Information
Start the Meeting Off Right
CHAPTER 3: WHAT ARE THE BASIC STEPS?
Step One: Define the Issue
Step Two: Establish Decision Criteria
Step Three: Craft the Proposal
Step Four: Test for Consensus
Step Five: Reach Agreement
CHAPTER 4: HOW DO I WORK WITH DISAGREEMENT?
Using Consensus Cards
Expressing and Resolving Legitimate Concerns
Dealing with Opposition or “Blocks”
CHAPTER 5: SIX TRAPS THAT UNDERMINE CONSENSUS
Member Absence from Critical Meetings
Grandstanding Members
Obstructive Blocking
Pressuring Members to Conform (Coercive Tactics)
Group Fatigue and/or Frustration
Silent Members
CHAPTER 6: TEN TIPS FOR BETTER CONSENSUS MEETINGS
Set Clear Ground Rules
Use a “Group Memory”
Distinguish “Must” from “Want” Criteria
Use Silence and Pauses
Assign Questions and Tasks to Breakout Groups
Put Discussion in a Fishbowl
Stack Participants
Take a Break
Use Technology Wisely
Evaluate the Meeting
CHAPTER 7: TOWARD HIGH-COMMITMENT DECISIONS
Return to the Roots of Consensus
Remember the Words of My Teachers
Reconnect with My Purpose and Values
Resource Guide
Index
About the Author

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