In order to run effective meetings and get things done as a group, your Gay-Straight Alliance should designate a process for making decisions as an organization. Be sure to familiarize yourselves with school policy first; some schools require major decisions to be approved by the Student Council and/or Administration. Also, you need to decide what role your club's advisor will play in the decision-making process.
Consensus-based decisions are achieved through discussion and must be approved by everyone at the meeting. A particular decision might be reshaped many times before consensus is reached. Groups that choose to use the consensus process often do so because voting on issues can divide membership and leave some people feeling unheard. Reaching consensus may raise also levels of commitment by group members because everyone is agreeing on a solution. The consensus-building process, however, requires time, discipline, and patience on the part of meeting participants, as well as a careful and attentive facilitator.
If your group is having trouble reaching consensus about a particular issue or question, try these tactics:
Although a very useful and often effective method for decision making, consensus is not possible or even applicable in every case. If you feel that the situation is unresolvable by consensus, don't be afraid to ask the group if everyone is willing to vote on it.
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