Don't Take Yes for an Answer

Document Type



Published by National Journal Group, Inc. in Government Executive, volume 38 issue 8, 2006. Bryant users may access this article here.


National Journal Group, Inc.

Publication Source

Government Executive


This article focuses on consensus and conflicts, which arise between participants during meetings or conventions. Consensus does not mean unanimity, agreement on all facets of a decision, or approval by a majority. It means people have agreed to cooperate on the implementation process. It is based on two components: commitment to the chosen course of action and a shared understanding of the rationale for the decision. Conflict can diminish consensus, hindering the execution of a chosen course of action. Vigorous debate can leave participants dissatisfied with the outcome, disgruntled with colleagues and indifferent to the implementation effort.