How to Avoid Groupthink

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Avoiding the Groupthink Trap

•Remain impartial. The leader should not take a directive role but should remain impartial. •Seek outside opinions. The leader should invite outside opinions from people who are not members of the group and who are less concerned with maintaining group cohesiveness. •Create subgroups. The leader should divide the groups into subgroups that first meet separately and then meet together to discuss their different recommendations. •Seek anonymous opinions. The leader might also take a secret ballot or ask a group member to write down their opinions anonymously; doing so would ensure that people give their true opinions, uncensored by a fear of recrimination from the group.

There are many methods or procedures that can be used by groups. Each is designed to improve the decision-making process in some way. Some of the more common group decision-making methods are brainstorming, dialetical inquiry, nominal group technique, delphi technique, benchmarking and empowerment. Brainstorming involves group members verbally suggesting ideas or alternative courses of action. The "brainstorming session" is usually relatively unstructured. Dialetical inquiry is a group decision-making technique that focuses on ensuring full consideration of alternatives. Essentially, it involves dividing the group into opposing sides, which debate the advantages and disadvantages of proposed solutions or decisions. The nominal group technique is a structured decision making process in which group members are required to compose a comprehensive list of their ideas or proposed alternatives in writing. The Delphi technique is a group decision-making process that can be used by decision-making groups when the individual members are in different physical locations. Benchmarking involves selecting a high-performing group or organization that is currently providing high-quality goods or services to its customers...
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