The Bold, Revert, Discuss cycle is one good way to think about the consensus editing process.
1 Be Bold: If you think you can make an article better, but you aren't sure whether others will disagree with the changes you want to make, you should start by boldly editing as you think best.
2 Revert: If your edit gets reverted by another editor, that's okay! You've now identified an editor with a different view about the article. Check the edit summaries and the Talk page to see why the other editor reverted your edit. (Do not simply make your edit again; that's the beginning of an edit war.)
3 Discuss: Start a discussion on the Talk page (if the other editor has not done so already). Explain how you think the article should be improved, and why. Work with the other editor(s) to develop consensus. When you've found some agreement, start making edits again.