Decision Making through Consensus – part one

This is the first post of two about the concept of “Consensus” in business. Many businesses say they make their decisions by consensus. But what they actually mean isn’t “consensus,” it’s “unanimous.” Look, we all want everyone to buy in to our new ideas or our new initiatives in our businesses, but it’s utterly unrealistic to think you’re going to get 100% buy-in every time.

Honestly, if you’re expecting to either get or need a 100% buy-in for any decision, no matter how small, in your business, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Change is a big hurdle for lots and lots of people. There’s a physical reaction to change. When some prospect of a big change, maybe even a small change, comes along, you actually get a physical sensation. Have you felt butterflies at the very prospect of having to change your plans, or something that you can see would go this way, and it actually is going to go that way? I certainly have. There are a lot of psychological and physiological reasons that we don’t like change as human beings.

Five main reasons why we don’t like change

The fear of the unknown. Instinctually, the fear of the unknown is an evolutionary tool to keep us alive. You never know what might be lurking around the next corner, so you stay where you are in order to feel safer.

Lack of trust. There’s an amazing lack of trust in many businesses. But people don’t trust each other because promises haven’t been kept, expectations haven’t been met. Whatever the series of reasons, trust is often an issue.

The perception that there may be a loss of security. This could be financial security, job security, information security, whatever. With change, there is a possibility of a loss of security or control. Most people start owning their own businesses because they prefer to control things. They would rather be in control than be controlled by others.

Sometimes there’s just too much change. There’s too many things changing at any given time in the organization and it’s hard for people to assimilate. They feel like they’re falling behind, because they’re so used to the old ways, and it might take a while for them to adjust.

Individual temperament. There are some people that will resist change no matter what. It really doesn’t matter what the change entails or how big of a change it is. Some people are just going to say no to change, and you’re not going to get them on your side.

Come back next time, when we are talking about what you can do to help people who don’t like change.

Written by RLO Training