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.