Although consensus and unanimity are often confused, they are not synonymous and have distinct meanings. Consensus refers to a general agreement, while unanimity refers to a situation where everyone agrees upon a single decision. It is rare for everyone to agree on a single decision or choice, and in most cases, there are disagreements involved in the decision-making process.
- Consensus refers to a general agreement, while unanimity refers to a situation where everyone agrees upon a single decision.
- Consensus is a process that progresses as people provide new ideas and work towards a general agreement, while unanimity is more of a decision.
- In consensus, not everyone agrees, but in unanimity, there is a definite agreement of all parties involved.
What is Consensus?
The word consensus can be understood as a general agreement of a group. When arriving at a consensus, the members of the group pay attention to the ideas of others before arriving at a decision. The key feature of consensus is to meet all the necessities of the group, although it may fail to please each individual member. Members who do not completely agree with the decision will also give their consensus as they realize that it is best for the group.
According to some sociologists, mainly functionalists, consensus is at the heart of every society. Members of a particular society have an agreed-upon code of conduct within the society. This is a form of consensus. The individual members give priority to the group and behave accordingly. Although there may be situations where individual ideas go against the group ideas, the individual members go along with the group.
When speaking of consensus, cooperation and team effort are of extreme significance. In order to create a consensus among groups, it is necessary to share ideas with others. These may not always be positive, supportive ideas. Nevertheless, through effective and honest communication, the group develops cooperation in their efforts to arrive at a consensus.
What is Unanimity?
Unanimity can loosely be defined as agreed upon by everyone involved. This clearly shows a difference between consensus and unanimity. In consensus, not everyone agrees, but in unanimity, this is not the case. There is a definite agreement of all parties involved.
It is also necessary to highlight that unanimity is mostly achieved when taking decisions. This is not a process. However, when observing consensus, it is a process that progresses as people provide new ideas and work towards a general agreement. In unanimity, individuals do not work towards any achievement but merely agree upon a suitable decision. Gaining unanimity in decisions or agreements is often a difficult task because, in most situations, people have different ideas from one another. This emphasizes that consensus and unanimity should not be confused as the same but should be understood as two different words.
What is the Difference Between Consensus and Unanimity?
Definitions of Consensus and Unanimity:
Consensus: Consensus is a general agreement.
Unanimity: Unanimity is agreed upon by everyone involved.
Features of Consensus and Unanimity:
Nature of Agreement:
Consensus: In consensus, not everyone agrees.
Unanimity: In unanimity, everyone agrees.
Consensus: Consensus is more of a process.
Unanimity: Unanimity is more of a decision.