How to Avoid Groupthink?
So first things first, What is Groupthink? Well, if you don’t know of it more prone you are to it. Basically. Groupthink is the phenomenon that occurs when a group of individuals reaches a consensus without much debate or evaluation of the alternatives, stemming out of the common desire to not upset the balance of a group of people. This desire creates a dynamic within a group whereby creativity and individuality tend to be stifled in order to avoid conflict.
MSMEs that do not have run with deep pockets but instead thrive on their innovation and cost efficiency, Groupthink can spell doomsday for them.
Hence, I have rounded below some of the best means to avoid falling a victim to it!
Educate the Team
As I mentioned already, if you are unaware of it, more prone are you to being a victim of it. Antidote? Educating the team about what it is, how and why it occurs. Discuss how recognizing this behavior can not only benefit individuals personally but also the company. So, put everybody in charge of how to look out for its spread via its symptoms like:
- Lack of creativity and brainstorming
- Simple and feasible solutions or options being overlooked
- Overconfidence in decisions
- Lack of opposition/debate on decisions
- Insufficient feedback on decisions made.
Teams often view conflict as something to avoid, but as long as it doesn’t get out of control or negative, it can be used as a tool for creative dissent to come to the surface. To avoid groupthink, resist the temptation to just end a conflict as soon as it crops up. Rather, calm the situation down and then hear both sides out.
In case team members are hesitant of saying what they feel, well then you might have to encourage debate so the group can start looking at a problem from different angles. To do this, you could encourage someone to play the devil’s advocate and interrogate arguments, and bring new perspectives to the discussion.
Diversity is a number game. Inclusivity is not. It is about impact. Even if diversity is mandatory, Inclusion is a choice. So make sure you include the voices that approach a discussion from a different perspective. Another way to do this is to invite outside experts to share their perspectives or provide content that a team can react to. If your team is stuck, share thought leader webinars that may spark inspiration and new ideas.
Manage Decision Making Pressure
People become more inclined to groupthink under situations of pressure. Any severe constraints such as an unrealistic timeline or threat of negative consequences can encourage groupthink. A tight deadline is also a leading cause as to why a team may rush to a mediocre solution. As a leader, it is your responsibility to remove all such bottlenecks and create a culture that is acceptable of errors.
With this, it’s a wrap! Hope this was helpful. Go on and tell us in the comments below what tip you found most useful and also mention what are some of the methods you utilize to avoid such situations.
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