Tiebreaker – How to reach a consensus

Have you ever found yourself in arguments where no one wants to give in and you end up keep arguing over simplest things? You’re not alone. Everyone has opinions as well as egos. Everyone likes to be right. When you argue over easily measurable things, it’s easy to come to an agreement. At worst case, you spend a bit of an extra time to gather the data and you’re golden. But if it’s simply a preference without any measurable performance or some other metric implications, the discussions can go on forever. 

Want to learn a simple trick?

Bring a tiebreaker. Make sure there are odd number of you and put it to a vote!

If you notice you end up arguing with certain people, avoid one to one discussions. Invite them to a meeting and make sure there are odd number of people. Then you simply vote on the solutions and majority wins. The benefit of it? Egos won’t be involved. When there’s a majority, it doesn’t mean your or other person’s idea was worse. It just means there were more people in the meeting supporting one decision. If you had the voting done again with different people, it’s as likely that other decision could have been taken. This prevents anyone feeling like their idea wasn’t good enough and prevents any conflicts from arising.

What if it wasn’t a good decision and you soon realize some problems? That’s great learning for the team. Next time, you’ll all collectively make better decisions. And instead of wasting time arguing back and forth, you can spend that valuable time proving if it’s a great idea or what could have been done better. 

Give it a try. Invite more people and make sure there’re odd number of people. Instead of focusing whose idea is better, focus on which idea got the most votes and move forward. Tiebreakers are the best way to move out of a conflict.