Friday, July 3, 2009

Collaboration is best

I’m back on the whole consensus vs. collaboration debate. Someone remarked to me that women are great at consensus. She then leaned closer and confided quietly that it was a great opening line and what did I think?

Ack. It made me firmly stick to my belief that ”consensus” is right up there with “accountability” as my least favourite buzzwords this year.

I think the fairytale that everyone will agree - finally - on everything discussed is silly. I also don’t think that women are any better at consensus than men. I think most of us are just not willing to voice strong, doubting opinions in public as readily as our facial hair-endowed counterparts. I know I get royally pounded when I do (but I keep doing it…).

Collaborating, on the other hand, implies you were at least heard (if you voiced an opinion) even if your opinion was discarded. I think women are great at collaboration. Most days I just want to know that my opinion was considered before it was discounted rather than feel uncomfortable voicing an unusual/unpopular view when everyone else seems to be ‘agreeing’.

Half the time I think consensus is achieved simply because no one is speaking up. And that’s not good for anyone.

No comments: