Reaching consensus on a complex topic

Naveen Negi
2 min readAug 4


Presenting individuals with a diverse range of perspectives can greatly enhance the likelihood of consensus. In our project, we’ve observed that when we provide multiple options to the product owner, the probability of reaching an agreement substantially increases.

For instance, in a study involving the presentation of an article with two extreme viewpoints, participants tended to cling to their pre-existing opinions, as observed in the phenomenon known as “binary bias”. However, when they were exposed to a broader spectrum of nuanced viewpoints, a transformative effect occurred. They exhibited a heightened curiosity, asking more questions, and displaying a willingness to engage in discussions around commonalities.

This phenomenon underscores the importance of embracing complexity and resisting the urge to oversimplify. It’s crucial to incorporate caveats that acknowledge the intricate nature of the topic at hand. Furthermore, highlighting contingencies and scenarios where the approach may not be applicable adds depth to the dialogue.

Avoiding the pursuit of a uniform narrative is key. Instead, offering a range of nuanced perspectives contributes to a richer discourse. This inclusivity of viewpoints is instrumental in making individuals recognize their own multifaceted outlooks.

In this context, adhering to certain principles can be beneficial:
1. Resist Simplification: Embrace the intricacies of the subject matter rather than seeking to oversimplify.
2. Incorporate Caveats: Convey the complexity by including disclaimers that acknowledge the various dimensions involved.
3. Highlight Contingencies: Address scenarios where the proposed approach might not yield optimal outcomes.
4. Encourage Nuance: Rather than crafting a consistent narrative, foster an environment where a diverse range of perspectives can coexist.
5. Embrace Expert Uncertainty: When experts express uncertainty, it captures attention and prompts more focused consideration from the audience.

In summary, by offering a multitude of viewpoints, we create an environment conducive to embracing diversity, enriching discussions, and facilitating consensus-building. This approach aligns with the understanding that it takes a variety of perspectives to make individuals realize the extent of their own multidimensionality.