To prevent and overcome groupthink-related tendencies requires constant effort from leaders and continuous focus. To foster constructive thinking in a team environment, members should have a high degree of a shared understanding of the fundamental beliefs and values as well as mutual respect that are essential to ensure the success of their teams. This requires a certain level of unity, in which individuals are integrated and balanced due to the common goals and objectives.
In their efforts to resolve the complex issues that surround groupthink, they must be aware of the vital role that all team members take on.
They should be aware of the dangers that come with problems that require quick actions, like long discussions or open criticism that could lead to damaged feelings, mainly when team members consistently fulfil their role as critical assessors. The feelings of depression, rejection and anger could be brought up whenever a team member challenges a decision. This can have a detrimental impact on the team’s morale and work relationships.
It is crucial for leaders to comprehend both the positive and negative implications of personality types when solving complex issues of groupthink. The individual personality of team members influences the subsequent environment of the team and the dynamics of groups. The presence or absence of team members is likely to significantly affect the atmosphere of the team and their interconnected interactions.
There are specific ways to stop and defeat tendencies to groupthink. They can also be employed when certain members are weakening the effectiveness of the entire team.
Leaders might need to create subgroups periodically which meet in separate groups under different group leaders in order to tackle the same team issues. This makes team environments that have different personalities mix to arrive at different conclusions. When these subgroups have reached their own consensus, they need to be united as a group to share their findings and to discuss disagreements.
Talk to Other Associates
Leaders should be able to discuss the team’s decisions with trusted members of their company. These people should have diverse expertise, views and perspectives. Once they have been identified, they are required to conduct independent assessments and comments on team performance. They are expected to provide fresh perspectives and suggestions which may not have been considered.
Leaders must then provide a report to their teams regarding these deep discussions and incorporate new suggestions and ideas into the talks.
Invite Outside Expertise
Leaders should regularly introduce experts from outside their teams. This knowledge can be sourced from people who are respected colleagues within their own organization. These individuals should be chosen due to their ability to comprehend new ideas rapidly and their ability to spot secret agendas and hidden motivations. They should also be selected for their awareness of ethical and moral concerns and their ability to effectively convey their criticism to the teams that are involved.
It is recommended to rotate the role of Devil’s Advocate.
The role of devil’s advocate is a norm in most teams Leaders should assign the task to a different person at every team meeting. This will give each member of the team the chance to oppose the position of the majority of team members rather than after an assembly.
Be sure to take time to survey warning Signs.
To counteract the team’s perception of invulnerability and inclination to overlook warning signals that could hinder the team’s confidence, leaders may have to put in a concerted effort to convince the team members and themselves to pay attention to specific risks and create suitable contingency plans for them.
Although team members have specific roles assigned to identify the potential dangers that the group has to take into consideration, They are more likely to ignore any warnings if there is already a consensus among members. It is therefore crucial that leaders invest time and energy in addressing certain warning signs that might otherwise be ignored due to the individual teams falling into the groupthink mindset.
Holding the Second Consensus Meeting
To prevent the formation of a consensus that is based on a feeling of vulnerability, stereotypes, and insufficiently examined assumptions, second meetings must be scheduled prior to when individual teams have made any substantial commitments and after they arrive at their initial consensus. If teams reach an agreement, the leaders should announce the second meeting and provide each participant with enough time to think about and reflect on their discussions, deliberations and possible solutions.
The members should be encouraged to play devil’s advocate, expressing any doubts that remain and think about the entire issue before taking the final decision. They are encouraged to challenge their own opinions and expose and discuss all concerns and risks. Team members should each discuss any and all possible issues that haven’t been before discussed and explored.
To help facilitate discussions, members of the team should be encouraged to write documents of one to two pages before time to foster conversations that are open. These documents should be gathered, copied and distributed to everyone in the team during the next meeting of the consensus.
Team secretaries must compile and consolidate all essential aspects into a formal report which is shared with all members, along with the documents that each team member has initially supplied. This ensures complete transparency as well as discussion on all critical aspects, questions and concerns that weren’t discussed prior to a group agreement.