Have you noticed a common way of thinking in your team? Have you noticed little to no analysis of new suggestions or participation in meetings? Do you know that it can affect the company’s performance?
Companies succeed because of people’s efforts. They build a name based on their ability to distinguish themselves from the masses. However, when the people start reasoning and doing things in the same manner, this can be a sign of an underlying challenge that needs prompt response. When people are victims of groupthink, even if they identify a better way of doing something, they withhold the information. This article sheds light on how to crush groupthink before it gathers roots and pulls the company backwards into noise and invisibility.
Reduce group size
The need for a sense of belonging is universal and it is cultivated through our recognition and involvement in teamwork. When teams have many people, some may not get the chance to contribute in important topics. This ultimately means that ideas suggested may not be challenged or critically analyzed and if implemented, they are likely to lead to substandard or similar results. If the opinions of team members are not considered for what they may consider “too long”, they may disconnect from the team and keep better ideas to themselves. Reducing the group size paves the way for the participation of all.
Allow people to voice their opinions
Employees are gifted differently. Some are good at bringing fresh ideas and others at implementing. If the former are denied a chance to voice their opinions, they may associate that with intellectual incapability or being unwanted. In consequence, their involvement in teamwork plummets and so does the overall performance. As a business leader, know that blindly following the belief that majority are always right can shut some of the best ideas.
An extended stay in a particular area can make team members think that what they are seeing or hearing is all there is. This is risky as they may not be able to cope with challenges if immersed in another environment or if a certain challenge manifests in a different way. For example, do you know that there innumerable labour laws that may be applicable in your company? Training by professionals allows them to see beyond the four walls and think differently.
Some employees with seemingly innovative ideas, even those who have been in the company for long, can withhold them for fear that a contrary opinion might cost them their jobs. Such tend to nod to everything that is said by their seniors and rarely contribute in discussions unless called to. As a human capital manager, informing your team that their ideas are valuable and that challenging is not only good but necessary can pave the way for creativity and standing out.
Recognize all people
There are employees who are known for their exceptional performance and frequent contribution in discussions. And there are others who contribute once in a while but their opinions save the company resources and bring a lot of value. There are different reasons why this may be the case. As an executive, recognizing the efforts made by all people creates a suitable environment for others to speak up.
Change your leadership style
Do your employees fear or respect you?
Sometimes employees fall into a pattern of agreeing with everything due to fear. While attempting to exert power and call for respect, some business leaders end up cultivating a culture of fear. Training in leadership and management helps identify your style and make the necessary changes that guarantee forward movement of the company.
Reject with courtesy
Needless to say, allowing everyone to contribute doesn’t mean that all the ideas will be applicable in the matter in question. If that is the case, reject with courtesy. Rather than dismissing without a second thought or undermining the individual, seek to know the reason behind it, challenge them to expand their scope of thinking, and give reasons why it may not be applicable. That way, rather than the contributors feeling discouraged, they will develop confidence in themselves and contribute in future discussions.
Create interesting challenges
Whether for individuals or in group, creativity challenges guarantee an improvement in the sense of belonging. They tell employees to tap into their creative centres and come up with ideas that they belief would steer the company forward. You can also allow promising team members to spearhead projects so they can bring in fresh perspectives. Challenges are even more exciting when there are rewards.
Working with people who have numerous similarities can easily make way for groupthink and eventually, stifle creativity and any chance of standing out. However, recruiting exceptional talents from different regions and backgrounds brings in fresh perspectives. Diversifying your team need not cause headache since there are plenty of researched, tested, and proven tactics of how to manage different generations in workplace.
As a business executive, know that sometimes the catalysts of growth in your company are not people who think or act like you. They could be those who have a different approach to common occurrences while still working towards a particular objective. For this, more focus should not be on creating your copy but tapping into your teams’ potential and maximizing it.