Groupthink isn’t uncommon in the working world. While working well together in the workplace should be encouraged, it can become a problem when people stop thinking for themselves and only think in terms of what’s best for their group.
Getting Rid of Group Think
While there’s nothing wrong with promoting collaborative harmony among team members, if this mindset is corrupting the opportunity for authentic decision making, it’s time to shake things up. Keep reading for a few tips every employer should use to help disrupt groupthink.
Question the Facts
One of the best ways to combat groupthink is to go beyond the surface of a situation to get the truth. If a decision is to be made, employees should search for the facts, analyze them, and question the authenticity of what they’ve discovered. Moreover, employees should be encouraged to take their time to truly process everything before coming to a decision.
Before automatically replying with a “yes” or a “no” to a question, it’s important that employees ask questions that can help point them to the best decision. Questions like, Is there an obvious bias that might affect my decision? Was the situation taken out of context?”, are effective when trying to make an informed decision.
Focus on Quality
Time is money in the business world, but that doesn’t mean that important decisions should be rushed. In order to come to a quality decision, employees can’t be expected to give an immediate response to a complex situation. In the event that employees are pressured to provide an answer, they’ll likely conform to what the other team members decide, resulting in the phenomenon of groupthink.
Reward Creativity and Innovation
Groupthink is a direct result of a lack of creativity. When team members make their decisions based on the opinions of others, they’re demonstrating a clear lack of independent thought. Employers can combat this by offering positive reinforcement for creative thinking and innovation. Whether these employees are rewarded with encouragement or actual benefits, making it clear to staff that it’s best to think independently will help to break the group think mentality.
Individualized decision making is an essential component of any strong team. Employers must do what they can to encourage individuality among their staff. By practicing these three strategies, employers can create a culture that inspires independent thought.