A consensus building approach allows groups to reach an overwhelming agreement among relevant stakeholders and maximize possible gains to everyone.
But ever since U.S. general Henry M. Robert published Robert’s Rules of Order in 1876, groups have relied on the principle of majority rule, measured with a simple yea or nay vote at the end of the negotiation process.
Majority rule appeals to our innate sense of fairness and prevents a vocal minority from overpowering the majority. But when negotiators know they will end up either winners (in the majority) or losers (in the minority), they may overlook the value of consensus building and searching for the best possible outcome for all parties.
Consensus building is a process involving a good-faith effort to meet the interests of all stakeholders and seek a unanimous agreement