Hartnett’s Consensus Oriented Decision-Making Model (CODM)? What Are The 7 Steps Of CODM

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Hartnett’s Consensus Oriented Decision-Making Model (CODM)? What Are The 7 Steps Of CODM

You have gathered your team to brainstorm on a new project that your company just got.

As you start the meeting, you find out that your team is finding it difficult to conclude.

There are different types of people in your team, and they might not agree with one another.

So, As their viewpoint and opinions clash with each other.

That is where Hartnett’s consensus-oriented Decision-Making Model also known as (CODM), turns out to be very useful.

Hence, Hartnett’s Consensus Oriented Decision-Making Model provides you with a step-by-step process to effectively collaborating in a group.


What is Hartnett’s Consensus Oriented Decision-Making Model (CODM)?

Hartnett's CODM Model of Decision Making

Meanwhile, A psychologist, Dr Tim Hartnett, developed the CODM model.

So, that was published in his book “Consensus-Oriented Decision-Making” in the year 2010.

Conflicts in families or teams often lead to violence or loss in one way or another, so he researched and found a solution for non-violent communication-solving conflict and building stronger relationships.

So, Hartnett’s Consensus Oriented Decision-Making Model provides us with a 7 step process to reach a cooperative reach consensus outcome.

1. Framing the problem having an open discussion

2. Identifying underlying concern

3. Developing proposals

4. Choosing a direction

5. Developing a preferred solution

6. Closing

It is essential to understand that consensus doesn’t mean total agreement but general agreement. 

Necessarily not everyone has to willingly agree to a decision, as long as the majority agrees and the remaining members can quietly step aside without any argument. Then reach the outcome.

7 steps of Hartnett’s Consensus Oriented Decision-Making Model

Framing the problem firstly, you need to make sure you have the right people gathered in the meeting, and they have all the required resources and tools.

Identify the problem that you are going to discuss, also make sure that everyone understands the problem and the effect it will have.

Additionally, you need to decide how you will agree on the outcome.

In other words, will everyone need to agree on the final solution, or will it be based on the majority agreement?

Having an open discussion

Secondly, you as a leader should focus on open discussion and make sure that everyone takes part equally in the study.

Together with your team, your goal is to gather as many potential ideas or solutions as possible for the problem.

Make everyone feel that everyone’s participation is equally important.

You, as a leader, ask your team to emphasize creative thinking and not play safe.

Identifying underlying concern

Thirdly, what you need to do is “underlying concerns” as Hartnett calls it.

In this step, you need to emphasize the problems or limitations that the ideas or solutions that you have collected in the second step.

So, To do this, you can simply identify the people who will be most affected by the outcome of that problem and engage them in a discussion.

Then you need to point out the ideas or solutions that are mostly accepting by all members of the discussion.

It is not necessary that everyone must completely agree with the result, with this in mind, i.e. general agreement, you can proceed to the next step.

Developing proposals

Meanwhile, In the fourth step, your team should come up with proposals addressing the problems identified in the previous step.

It is essential that regardless of the number of ideas or solutions, everyone focuses on one design at a time and does not criticize any ideas or solutions.

Discuss the ideas in detail and what approach will you adopt to take it forward and put it into action and the possible outcome.

Consequently, One thing may have multiple possible outcomes.

That is why creative thinking and open discussion is crucial for this step if you want to be prepared for all situations and not get stuck in the process.

Do not cancel off any ideas or proposals at this time.

Choosing a direction

As, Now you are a leader and have the responsibility to find out the best proposals that could be carried forward, with your team.

Ask everyone to point out what are the pros and cons of each proposal in detail.

Then using the process that you decided in step one, i.e. general or total agreement, select the best proposals.

Again, it is crucial that everyone participates and there is an open discussion considering every proposal equally important.

Developing a preferred solution

The primary goal of this step is to emphasize further improving the final proposals and to address any concerns that may be left out and find solutions.

Here the selection is made of the best and also most essential proposals that can be put to action immediately.

Again, not to mention you need everyone to participate and necessarily not everyone must agree to everything.


Hartnett's Consensus Oriented Decision-Making

Finally, if you are at this stage in Hartnett’s consensus-oriented Decision-Making Model (CODM), you must have a list of solutions or ideas that most people agree with.

Lastly, you can ask your team to work cooperatively for implementing the finalized proposals.

Meanwhile, Everyone can contribute anything they can for improving the result.

hence, That can be one’s resources, time, experience, expertise, network, or anything beneficial.

So, It is not necessary to follow every step exactly; flexibility is essential to achieve better results. 

If anything goes wrong under those circumstances, you must be willing and ready to move back to previous steps.

Components of Consensus Oriented Decision-Making Model


For you to arrive at a consensus, it depends on the condition that there is a general agreement, i.e. most of the people agree upon a particular decision or outcome.


In this model, everyone is required to participate equally in evaluating or finding solutions to any problem.

So, They are considering that the right people are gatherers to solve the problem, who know the issue.


Participation is the most critical component in this process; everyone gets to take active participation.


Agreement refers to the condition that most of the people agree at the end; our goal is to get as many contracts as possible.


The decision must be process-oriented and not outcome-driven.

All opinions are respectful and welcome and are filtered through the process correctly and not just focus on the expected result.


Hartnett's Consensus Oriented Decision-Making

While in group discussion, it is common to see the clash in ego, emotions, viewpoints, and various other sensitive things.

But, there must be a mature sense of cooperation amongst everyone to ensure harmony and proper decision making.

It is a fact that not everyone will agree with everyone’s opinion.

But one must ignore small disagreements and settle on the solution most beneficial for as many people as possible.

Group relationship

The development of this system is to strengthen group relations in a family or a team through a peaceful communication method.

When there is a lot of argument in a team or family, under those circumstances, this method of communication helps in finding the best solution as well as makes group relations stronger.


Consensus-Oriented Decision-Making Model requires the participation of everyone, and when everyone participates and everyone has an equal stand.

Members feel more heard and explore their importance, and this triggers them to come up with the best ideas, finally leading to efficiency.

When members are not included or ignored, they lose the motivation to innovate and give their best for your company’s growth as they don’t have the feeling of being a valuable role player.

This often leads to low productivity, inefficiency, and waste of resources and time.

Disadvantages of Hartnett’s consensus-oriented Decision-Making Model

  • This method has many benefits, but on the negative side, you will find that you don’t need to always arrive at a correct solution at the end of the process.
  • Regardless of the problem, it may take several meetings to come up with a suitable solution finally.
  • Altogether this process may take a long period and may cost some money.
  • People may take advantage of the consensus to try and avoid personal responsibility, and this has a damaging impact on the outcome.
  • People might divert from the main point and waste the time and resources of others as well.
  • The implication of this process may vary depending on the complexity of the problem.
  • The bigger group leads to more opinions and as a result taking more time to solve a particular problem.
  • If the participants are not interested in the subject matter or have selected the wrong person to be in the discussion, this might dramatically impact the outcome.


In the summary, what is Hartnett’s consensus-oriented Decision-Making Model how it can be used to developing solutions collectively? 

This is a very active group decision-making technique you can use to find solutions while interacting in groups.

Also, you can learn the 7 steps of the Consensus-Oriented Decision-Making Model.

1. Framing the problem

2. Having an open discussion

3. Identifying underlying concern

4. Developing proposals

5. Choosing a direction

6. Developing a preferred solution

7. Closing

Also, the problems or disadvantages of this method that establish by Dr Tim Hartnett that publish in his book “Consensus-Oriented Decision-Making” in the year 2010.

Also you can read our blog on Stepladder Technique – 5 Useful Decision-Making Guides


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