At the end of this blog post, you’ll understand the causes of groupthink and 5 tips to better team decision-making.
Decision-making is an integral part of any team activity. Team decision-making involves a sequence of activities that includes gathering, interpreting and exchanging information, creating and identifying alternative courses of action, choosing among alternatives by integrating the often differing perspectives and opinions of team members and implementing a choice and monitoring its consequences.
Sometimes teams can follow a flawed process by not exchanging enough information, exploring inadequate alternatives, and making erroneous conclusions. Groupthink is one such pitfall of decision-making.
This blog post aims to explore the role leadership plays in enhancing as well as mitigating groupthink in team decision-making processes. Since most important and consequential decisions affecting organizations are made in groups, it is important to be conversant with the conditions and symptoms of this bias and at the same time, know how to mitigate them.
Groupthink is a phenomenon where individuals in a group tend to push aside their personal opinions or beliefs to reach a shared consensus with the group—to the detriment of the group’s goals.
In essence, it is a barrier to information appraisal and processing and inhibits inclusive rationalization.
The major causes of groupthink
1. Trying To Evade Conflict
A typical environment in which groupthink thrives is one where group members want to avoid conflict wherever possible. Rather than facing conflict, your teammates may try to rationalize themselves into accepting courses of action that they don’t agree with.
Moreover, not all conflict is good or healthy, but fear of conflict avoidance can be a sign of a dysfunctional work environment. If you believe in a project or an approach, you can’t be afraid to enter conflict for fear of rejection.
2. Having A Know-it-all Attitude
Groupthink is often a result of a lack of critical thinking, something that goes hand-in-hand with a know-it-all attitude.
This can quickly show itself through a few tell-tale signs of groupthink: superiority and stereotyping. Also, it can create the illusion of unanimity: the belief that everyone agrees when they are not.
3. Lack of Psychological Safety
This is the knowledge that you won’t be punished for expressing concerns or making a mistake. Without psychological safety, members of a group, especially more junior team members, won’t speak up because of social pressure.
As leaders and CEOs, it’s our responsibility to cultivate an environment that’s conducive to healthy group cohesion and creative problem-solving.
4. Overly Rigid Thinking
Another cause of groupthink is ove