Why Your Leaders Should Learn How Teams Avoid Groupthink
In our decision making training, we define groupthink as the “practice of thinking or making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility.” Certainly you will want to learn how teams avoid groupthink and encourage both creativity and responsibility.
If you think your team is immune from groupthink because you’re just too darn smart to fall into that trap, think again. All of the following profoundly bad decisions were vetted and backed by some of the best brains in their respective fields:
One of the biggest culprits? Groupthink.
Groupthink Can Be Well Disguised
Just knowing about the phenomenon of groupthink does not protect you from practicing it. The poor decisions were not made because people were going along just to get along or where an overbearing personality bullied others into accepting their ideas. These poor decisions were thoughtful, honest discussions among people who knew their stuff and weren’t afraid to speak up.
And yet groupthink happened anyway.
Groupthink doesn’t happen because people are not smart enough to see what’s happening. Rather, it’s deeply rooted in the organizational culture, psychology of the interpersonal relationships, and organizational structure. The only sure way to avoid groupthink is to proactively engineer the team’s decision-making process to expect and plan for groupthink.
If you want to improve your decision making culture, here are five field-tested strategies to expect and plan for groupthink:
The Bottom Line
Don’t let groupthink infect the important decisions your team must make to thrive. Practice the strategic decision making process of how teams avoid groupthink. Are you employing the strategies above to help your team avoid groupthink?
To learn more about how to improve decision making, download The Top 5 Decision-Making Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs
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