Bridges to Consensus

If you can skillfully negotiate consensus in a nonprofit organization, you can negotiate in any setting.

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Bridges to Consensus – in Congregations
by Margaret E. Anderson

Nonprofits rely heavily on volunteer workers who, if they don’t like the way leaders treat them, can simply walk away without losing a paycheck.

This practical guide presents a complete consensus building system, drawing examples from the touchiest of all nonprofit venues, the faith community. Readers love the sample dialogues with parallel commentaries that take you inside the speakers’ heads to explain their strategies. “Try This” segments give the reader a chance to practice new ways of thinking and speaking.

You’ll find yourself using these skills at home, work, anywhere thinking people think differently from one another.

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Available in both print and Kindle versions.

Read an excerpt

Read Rev. Lillie Henley’s complete review

Praise for Bridges to Consensus:

My suggestion is that every religious leader needs to internalize the values in Bridges just as they internalize the beliefs of the Koran, Bible, Tao Te Ching, or whatever text of their faith.

— The Rev. Lillie Henley, Unitarian Universalist

As someone who has held almost every office in my congregation, I discovered that I could integrate this system not only at my church, but also at home, work, and in every human contact I make.

— Patricia Dwyer Kolodney, M.Ed. in Educational Psychology,

M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy, Congregational Leader

Margaret Anderson has written a clear and helpful book, based on her own knowledge and experience. She contributes to the growing body of work in this area, including I’m Ok, You’re Ok by Thomas Harris, Parent Effectiveness Training by Thomas Gordon and You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation by Deborah Tannen. She is in good company.

— Christine Spong Editor to the Rt. Rev. John Shelby Spong

Bridges to Consensus offers a set of practices meant to equip well-meaning leaders to also become well-differentiated leaders able to non-anxiously and diplomatically assert their own needs in ways another person can hear and respect while resisting the needless urge to be right or to declare the other wrong.

— The Rev. Paul Beedle, Unitarian Universalist

The parallel dialog/commentary sections are the heart and soul of Margaret’s book. The dialogs are those encountered every day in the church setting and the running commentary reminds us of the power of thinking through every encounter.

— The Rev. James LiberatoreEpiscopalian

Margaret Anderson at a signing for Bridges to Consensus – in Congregations