Group Dialectic Differs from Other Forms of Decision-Making

     Group dialectic includes "consensus decision-making," but excludes majority-vote decision-making and polling.

Consensus Decision-making

     Consensus decision-making is a process that seeks the agreement of all participants, resolving or mitigating the objections of the minority to achieve a decision agreeable to all. Consensus decision-making de-emphasizes the role of factions or parties and promotes the expression of individual voices. The method also increases the likelihood of unforeseen or creative solutions by juxtaposing dissimilar ideas.

     In consensus decision-making, minority views must be considered to a greater degree than in group decision-making processes where a majority can take the action and enforce the decision without any further consultation with the members in the minority. Some groups employ consensus decision-making in ways that enable them to consider the views of the minority, attain complete agreement of all members, and make decisions in a timely and efficient manner.

Majority-vote Decision-making

     The majority-vote decision-making process involves members agreeing to abide by the decision chosen by a simple or larger majority of members casting votes. This process is a win or lose model, in which people are more often concerned with the numbers it takes to "win" than with the issue itself. Voting does not take into account individual feelings or needs. In essence, it is a quantitative, rather than qualitative, method of decision-making.

Whatever people believe, on subjects on which it is of first importance to believe rightly, they ought to be able to defend against at least the common objections. . . [If a person is] unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion. The rational position for him would be suspension of judgment, and unless he contents himself with that, he is either led by authority, or adopts, like the generality of the world, the side to which he feels most inclination."

John Stuart Mill. On Liberty

Group Dialectic

     Group dialectic differs from majority-vote or ordinary decision-making and polling in ensuring that all members of the group agree that the final decisions made are necessarily the best possible and that they will work. This process requires group symbiosis 1 and is only possible when orchestrated by an advanced leader and all the participants share the same values and goals.


  1. Symbiosis: joining together in a mutually beneficial relationship; unified, congruous