Scales of agreement is a useful tool for quickly testing decisions and understanding responses to ideas or proposals, ensuring all views are heard (which is not the case in much decision making).
It’s a participatory process and is helpful for building ownership of ideas as well as interrogating them. Used ‘without an agenda’ for key decisions it can also help seek out views from the vital dissenting minority.
It can also be used more crudely as a ‘voting-with-comments’ tool.
1. Clarify the issue at hand, if there are multiple ideas, proposals or decisions, it is best to separate them.
2. Consider taking ‘questions for clarification’ if required.
4. Write each of the 8 positions on a sheet of paper or gridcard, (or download this copy) and lay them in a line, in order, on the floor, table or wall.
Scales of agreement on a wallchart, after participants had expressed views, here the group gave the proposal enthusiastic support. 5. Give all participants a Gridcard or post-it note.
6. I always think it best to invite the group to work in silence. Ask participants to decide where they are in relation to the idea, proposal or decision.
Invite each person to write on the gridcard the position they take in relation to the idea, proposal or decision, and write a question or comment that relates to their level of agreement.
7. When everyone has finished writing, invite people to read out their position and comment, or to just place their position next to a card with the levels on. I find the floor the fastest and easiest, getting people out of seats also brings energy back to the group. Scales of agreement on a floor, after participants had expressed views, here the group gave the proposal enthusiastic support.
8. The clusters will report where the collective view of the group is in relation to the idea, proposal or decision, and the questions and the comments will shed valuable insight on the decision in hand. Get a copy of scales of agreement method card.