I have always hated working in groups.
There were always those that didn’t care, those that just agreed and then there was me - the one who got stuck doing everything.
But, I digress.
I recently read Jonah Sachs' Story Wars, and learned all about the groupthink theory. In the final chapter “Living the Truth,” Sachs discusses the term, which was originally coined by Irving Janis in 1972, and its significance when working in groups. Not only can groupthink be counterproductive but it can also hinder the decision making process for a group or business.
So, just like that, there I was reliving my dreaded days of college and group projects --but it got me thinking.
Whether at work, in a classroom or somewhere else -- are we as professional communicators becoming victims of groupthink or are we challenging ourselves and our teams to think critically to allow for better group performance and decision making?
What I realized was that the problem with groups lies with those individuals in them. To be successful, responsibility must be shared and requires individual contributions by all group members -- not a consensus. Groupthink is like a cold -- there are things that can be done to help prevent it and keep it away.
So, today’s tip is all about avoiding the groupthink trap.