About 2 years ago I created 12 on-line Team Building & Development sessions for a company. We called it ‘Helping Teams Work’. It was meant to be short, less than 5 minutes, & give 1 concrete action step people can apply to their work on teams…

They liked it & I enjoyed trying to make content that did not require me to be present.

Below is the 5th of 12 ‘Helping Teams Work’ content sections.

Teamwork Through Consensus or Compromising

How teams work using Consensus or Compromising

Teams often struggle with the differences between a compromise & a consensus style in dealing with conflict on the team. Compromise can usually resolve conflict fairly quickly, but when the issue is very important, holding out for consensus is worth the extra time and effort. Please see Handling Team Conflict Through Compromising vs. Consensus Seeking above.

Example of a Conflict for Which Consensus is Appropriate

A project team created two processes for improving customer wait time at a bank. Each process has several proponents on the team & the debate had become quite heated. The team decided to try each process in different branches & compare the results (a compromise).

Ultimately, neither process was quite right, the team ended up taking the best elements from each (a consensus). Had the team members continued to work towards a common solution, rather than simply advocating for their own favorite, the better solution might have been reached without the time & expense of a contest.

Example of a Conflict for Which Compromise is Appropriate

A project team made up of representatives from two plants designed a new touch-pad technology for collecting control chart data on production lines. The team had budget to buy touch screens for four lines. Naturally, the members from each plant wanted these first screens in their own plant. Loud argument erupted over who deserved them more. They decided the fair thing to do was to put two on the new screens in each plant.