Welcome to the next article, today let’s try to explore ‘why sometimes decisions taken by a group seem ineffective?’ I’m sure we all had an experience going out with a bunch of friends to watch a movie with two or several options to choose. Even though one or two might not actually agree to the decision, may be cause didn’t want to sound ‘un-supportive’. Sounds familiar?! People tend to agree possibly of person who takes up leadership position is dominated or bossy, making it difficult to disagree otherwise. This phenomena is termed as ‘Groupthink’. This phenomena occurs when a group makes ineffective decisions for the sake of reaching a consensus. This become a major hurdle for creativity and independent thinking. Just for the sake of group cohesion one need to give up alternatives and confidence to present unpopular decision. This in turn hinders the problem solving ability of the group. This leads to disregarding the idea and accepts illogical approaches to maintain harmony among the members of group. This ultimately leads to low probability of success.
Let’s try to understand the additives of ‘Groupthink’:
- Decision makers constitute a cohesive group.
- Structural faults of the group (often insulates from outside, directive style of a leader and other factors)
- There exists proactive situation context (High stress to bring result, self-esteem is hit low, and other factors)
When the above additives come together in a ‘short time’, pre-decision seem decision taken and the group that does this decision are part of ‘Groupthink’ because:
- Overestimation of the group
- Closed mindness
- Pressure towards uniformity
- Omission in survey of objectives and alternatives
- Errors in search of information
How does one overcome the ‘Groupthink’?
- A framework with rules and process
- Participation of every member
- Divide into smaller group
- Support debate and conflict
- Examine alternatives
- Invite outside experts
- Leaders to hold and reflects opinions
- Have a devil’s advocate
I hope we had some interesting understanding on Groupthink. Let’s look into this in our next article. Next week I shall begin with a new topic on ‘Self’. Till then, Good day!