Consensus vs. Commitment

When you are trying to make a decision at your school,  do you ever get frustrated because you cannot come to a consensus on a certain issue? You sit and talk about an issue and the conversation goes around and around and, as a result, nothing is decided and you end up tabling the issue until the next meeting.

Sometimes, there are situations where you will never achieve consensus. At this point, you need to rely on people’s commitment. I like to use the following analogy. The game of basketball (the best game on Earth) has many rules. Some of these rules make no sense to me but I make a commitment to play, coach and referee by the rules because I understand that games need to have rules. A lack of rules would result in a chaotic game.

In a school, if people are commited to the mission,vision and goals of the school, they will commit to certain decisions when there is no consensus. People need to feel that they have been heard and they need to have trust for their colleagues and the school leaders. We cannot take it personally when a colleague disagrees with us. We need to commit to decisions which are in the best interest of our school’s vision and goals. In a nutshell, if it is good for kids and their learning, it is the best decision.

Who would not commit to doing what is best for kids and their learning? Does any of this make sense?


About Derek Hatch
Principal in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

One Response to Consensus vs. Commitment

  1. Pingback: More on Collaboration | Hatcherelli Blog

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