5 tips for avoiding GROUPTHINK in your team

by | Mar 26, 2024

…it’s easier than you think

When we evaluate a leadership team’s “DNA” it allows us and the team to understand where the leadership team is naturally going to work effectively together, and what areas could lead to an unhealthy team dynamic.

GROUPTHINK is one of those unhealthy team dynamics.

Defined simply, “groupthink” is:

…the practice of thinking or making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility.

It’s the choice to conform and achieve group consensus at the expense of critical reasoning and individual responsibility. 

The cost of groupthink to a team and organization can be drastic.

I want to share 5 tips to avoid groupthink, but first, there are…

2 important considerations:

Consideration #1

Leaders who are naturally more introverted, more accommodating, and less assertive, don’t naturally process their thoughts or concerns out loud.

And, they don’t always feel compelled to share their opinions publicly unless they are asked.

Consideration #2

Leaders who are more extroverted and higher assertive DO feel compelled to share their opinions publicly—often steering the conversation AWAY (sometimes unintentionally) from what others have shared or think…and can consume the majority of the meeting time.

To avoid groupthink, here are the 5 TIPS…

TIP #1

ORIGINAL THOUGHT

When collaborating together to solve a problem, each leader is asked to come to the table having individually thought through their perspective and prepared to share their thoughts – even if they are not conclusions.

TIP #2

SPACE TO SHARE

In group conversations, each person has a designated space of time to share their individual thoughts and perspective.

TIP #3

PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY

When the team is assembled and begins sharing, the leader promotes an environment of psychological safety—

encourages and affirms the contributions made, regardless of which ones are accepted and implemented.

TIP #4

NO INTERRUPTIONS

Each team member has the opportunity to share their perspective thoroughly without being interrupted, corrected, rushed, or their contribution being invalidated.

TIP #5

OPENNESS TO NEW AND DIFFERENT

Brainstorming ideas can be separated from the portion of the meeting set aside to critically analyze and challenge the ideas. The leader and team remains curious and makes space for ideas that seem initially like they may not work.

The success and sustainability of any organization depends upon team members’ ability to freely contribute their unique perspectives and insights.

Leaders are the ones responsible for creating an environment where this can happen. 🙌🏼

For more leadership and coaching tips,

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