Consensus—or one Mind?

There I was—sitting alone in a conference room, trying to calm down after a meeting that had deteriorated into a heated argument. The goal of the meeting was to achieve consensus on a work matter, but instead it had been a disaster. It made me stop and think about consensus from a spiritual point of view.

Early in my career, when I was promoted to president of a property management and marketing firm, there were many business articles published about the increasing role of women in management and the skills they brought to companies, especially consensus-building. I thought this was a particularly strong skill of mine. I reported to the company owner, two asset managers, two boards of directors, and hundreds of tenants, and in addition, I managed a staff of 25. There were many opportunities to work on achieving consensus!

One of the company’s services was to help its tenants market their businesses to their customers. There were many opinions on how best to do this. My staff and I worked hard to come up with marketing plans that we thought would achieve consensus. We even visited tenants individually to gain their support for our programs. For a while, I felt that my personal skill was working. I could sit with a group of people who held strongly divided opinions and achieve consensus by looking for the common ground, acknowledging the good in each perspective, and convincing everyone that in order to move forward we were all going to have to give a little.

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In the care of angels
June 3, 2013

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