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What is more important, dissent or consensus?

PrepLounge: Personal Fit
New answer on Jun 30, 2023
13 Answers
2.5 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jan 24, 2020

How would you answer this question in your Personal Fit interview? Receive feedback on your answer and browse through the Q&As to review the approaches of other applicants and experts.

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Content Creator
replied on Jan 27, 2020
McKinsey / ex-Interviewer at McKinsey / I will coach you to rock those interviews

It’s a thin ice to walk on.

  • On the one hand, if you answer “dissent” you risk of coming off as stubborn and arrogant, the person who is pushing her opinion no matter what.
  • On the other hand, if you answer “consensus” you risk of coming off as a softy, the person who agrees to everything, so that people don’t get upset.

So, if asked that question in an interview I would go with a typical consulting answer of “it depends” :)

  • If you disagree with smbd and think that if your opinion is not taken into account, then the client interests are not served the best or your values are compromised, then “dissent”.
  • But if you disagree with smbd and your idea is just as good as anybody else’s at the table and it’s important to bring all the stakeholders on board to move things forward, then “consensus”.

I hope this helps!


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Content Creator
replied on Sep 30, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


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Anonymous F replied on May 25, 2022

I believe this is a matter of where we are at the process of finding a solution. Dissent in the earlier stages of the project might lead to fruitful discussions throughout the process and, therefore, can be is important to identify the most valuable strategies. However, at the final stages of the solution process -once all information and ideas have been shared- it is important to find the best suitable option and, therefore, consensus is more important at the final stage of the project.

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Reinoud replied on Apr 19, 2022

This depends on the situation: in case of high urgency consensus is important, whereas dissent is in my opinion crucial to increase quality. 

In general both terms are of course connected and equally important to move teams and businesses forward. A lack of one, would mean an extreme of the other - which both could lead to progress being undermined.

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Dimitrios updated an answer on Jul 24, 2022

Well consensus is the most important thing, because even though dissent may bring some reults there can be absolutely no results without consensus.


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Anonymous D replied on Dec 07, 2021



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Francois replied on Jan 10, 2021

Disagree and commit

  • Say your say and make your point - don't be afraid to challenge norms and practices if there is good reason, but you can't always have your way and you will not always be right. That's how you learn.
  • If no-one is going to convince the other make a decision through majority or seniority and everyone commits to the course of action
  • Don't see it as opportunity for I told you so's but learning opportunity
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Simon replied on May 20, 2022


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Anonymous E replied on Mar 17, 2022




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Giulio replied on Jan 19, 2022

Dissent, as I can bring a contribute to the team

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Anonymous C replied on Nov 07, 2021


Da es eine Schnittmenge für gemeinsames agieren schafft

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Anonymous B replied on Sep 08, 2021

Trying to reach consensus is not always practical, as many new ideas come up from discontent. 

Dissent brings better opportunity for brainstorming.

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Linda replied on Jun 30, 2023

an consensus via desentment

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Daniel gave the best answer


Content Creator
McKinsey / ex-Interviewer at McKinsey / I will coach you to rock those interviews
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