Groupthink is a phenomenon that occurs when a group makes faulty or ineffective decisions for the sake of reaching a consensus. For instance where you have to go along with the majority, but you really do not agree. Or feel apprehensive in sharing your view for fear of being labeled unsupportive.

This stifles individual creativity and individual thinking among group members. Common sense and the desire to present and debate alternatives and the confidence to express unpopular opinion are sacrificed for group cohesion. This consequently hinders the decision making and problem solving ability of the group. A decision is considered more in favor of group harmony rather than profitability, logicality, or being goal oriented. This kind of decisions is ultimately poor and with low probability of success.

The following increases the chances of groupthink in a group:

* When member of the group are from the same background
* Highly cohesive
* Have no clear rules or process in decision making
* Has an outspoken leader or dominating member who always tries to control contribution of other members
* Isolated away from external contribution/oversight
* Pressure to conform

There are also ways of mitigating this. This includes:
* Setting clear rules or process in decision making and upholding them
* Encourage participation of all group members
* Support debate and productive conflict in the group
* Examine all raised alternatives before making a final decision
* Invite external expert
* Have the leader hold on his contribution/comment until after others have made theirs

As entrepreneur, decision making come to us on a daily basis, in varying scales. As such, making the most effective decision cannot be over emphasized. Group think can be a big stumbling block to successful decision making as you work with groups. Also, as the leader of the group, you are a possible initiator of groupthink, it is highly important you consciously take this to account when relating with your group.

Remember, “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking” – George S. Patton

photo credit:

Oluwaseun Hephzibah, Babatunde

I'm an entrepreneur, Tech Enthusiast, IT Consultant and guitarist. I'm a great motivator and I can push you to achieve your dream. ------------------------------------------------------ email: babatundeseun2014[at]


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