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What Is Groupthink?
GroupThink occurs when a group values harmony and coherance over accurate analysis and critical evaluation.
GroupThink causes individual members of the group to unquestioningly follow the word of the leader and it strongly discourages any disagreement with the consensus.
Problem with GroupThink – the suppression of individual opinions and creative thought can lead to poor decision-making and inefficient problem-solving.
The Most Common Symptoms of Groupthink
Rationalizing prevents members from reconsidering their beliefs and causes them to ignore warning signs.
Stereotyping leads members of the in-group to ignore or even demonize out-group members who may oppose or challenge the groups ideas.
Self-censorship causes people who might have doubts to hide their fears or misgivings.
How to Prevent or Minimize Groupthink
However, there are steps that groups can take to minimize this problem. First, leaders can give group members the opportunity to express their own ideas or argue against ideas that have already been proposed. Breaking up members into smaller independent teams can also be helpful. More ideas that might help:
1. Initially, the leader of the group should avoid stating their opinions or preferences when assigning tasks. Give people time to come up with their own ideas first.
2. Discuss the groups ideas with an outside member in order to get impartial opinions.
3. Create an atmosphere where members feel free to cast a dissenting opinion. Don’t discourage dissent or challenges to the prevailing opinion. Treat dissenting opinions them as an essential part of a solid outcome. Reframe differing opinions as a helpful and necessary part of the process.
To combat GroupThink you as the leader must create an environment where your team feels free to ask the challenging question
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