Patterns in Group Decision Making

  • Consensus: requires the majority approve, and the minority agree to go along.

    • Consensus decision does not fit well with modern business as you often need active assent. Soliciting active assent is not a common pattern in meetings, and is often assumed through tacit silence 1.
  • Advice: Any person in the organization can make any decision, but the person must seek advice of all stakeholders and people with experience in the matter.

  • Benevolent Dictatorship: One individual makes all the decisions

  • Random: Leaves the choice to random chance

  • Unanimity: The group discusses the issue until it reaches an agreement by all those that are part of the situation.

  • Consent: “no objections”. Consent does not mean you fully agree, but you can “live with it”. It is not unanimity or full agreement.

  • Solidarity: unwavering commitment to the group, individual will supressed. 2


Dagdeviren, C. Don’t Assume Consensus In The Absence of Objection. at (2021).
Cleff, A. Decision Making Patterns for Teams. at (2021).