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This is a concept that describes a highly cohesive group that shifts their beliefs and decision-making to ensure that the group remains intact. Obviously there are advantages of having a group of people make a decision and agree upon that decision. But when you are looking for a collaborative environment that is also bringing in diversity and alternative views, groupthink can be a detrimental factor in decision-making. Groupthink can affect an entire company, it can affect small groups within an organization, it can affect a board of directors group, or it can infect a collaboration group among a client and a service provider.
If your business values diversity of opinions, you will need to recruit diversity among your employees.
Groupthink often happens when people come from a similar background or have similar views on topics. More diversity in life experiences and cultural backgrounds leads to a business’s ability to look at additional options when making a decision.
Staying impartial as a leader, founder, or manager within a business will ensure that you have a greater chance of reducing the groupthink occurrence. You may want to take more of a facilitator role rather than an opinionated role within the decision making process. Furthermore, taking an impartial role means that those making a decision will be less affected by the need to align their views with yours.
Creating an environment where conflict and debate is okay, will also help reduce groupthink within a work environment. It’s often believe that you should not say something negative about someone else’s opinion, but in reality if there’s respect and Trust within a group, it should be an environment where at debate can happen. Constructive criticism and the ability to dig into the details means that all aspects of a problem are evaluated, and it will promote a more diverse and stronger solution.
Looking at alternative views in a defined way will help reduce groupthink. This may mean that you assign somebody in the group to always be a devil’s advocate, as long as they have a constructive and viable reason to advocate for the opposite of a proposed idea. Pulling in outside views can also be critical to dispelling groupthink within a business. Maybe someone outside of your department, or an advisor outside of your own business will have a different opinion or view that your group should consider.
Groupthink happens when you are cohesive as a group, and as a small business that is growing, you want to ensure that your cohesive and tight-knit group looks at alternative Solutions in any problem solving need that your business is going through.