Breaking Out of Groupthink


Have you ever been trapped in the frustration of a meeting that was not functioning well? Have you sat in a meeting where you did not speak your mind because you knew the risk, or the futility of it? Perhaps you have suffered through more bad meetings than you participated in useful ones. Have you ever sat in a meeting where nothing of value was accomplished, and it seemed like a terrible waste of time, yours and everyone else’s? Reflecting on it later, did you wonder what it was that caused the teams to be so ineffective?

The situations that lead to these nonworking meetings tend to fall into three categories:
1. We are so sure that everyone is in agreement that we don’t want to be the lone dissenting voice.
2. Our team has always been “right.” We have been on the cutting edge for as long as anyone can remember — therefore we must be “right” now.
3. The boss says we must — therefore we must.

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