What is the Gradients of Agreement technique?
The Gradients of Agreement is a group decision support tool described in The Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision Making. It spells out an 8-point scale for expressing support for a decision.
- Whole-hearted Endorsement - “I really like it!”
- Agreement with a Minor Point of Contention - “Not perfect, but it’s good enough.”
- Support with Reservations - “I can live with it.”
- Abstain - “This issue does not affect me.”
- More Discussion Needed - “I don’t understand the issues well enough yet.”
- Don’t Like But Will Support - “It’s not great, but I don’t want to hold up the group.”
- Serious Disagreement - “I am not on board with this - don’t count on me. “
- Veto - “I block this proposal.”
Leaders ask the group to indicate how they feel about a proposed decision along this scale. Based on what they see, they can then decide if the commitment level is “good enough” or if they need to continue the discussion.