Think outside the box: how not to become a hostage to group thinking

Everyone wants to think outside the box, but often, becoming part of a team at work or among friends, we become hostages of group thinking. This is due to the social nature of man, but rarely it leads to individual success of man. More to the impersonality of the team. So how not to fall into this trap?

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First you need to decide what is group thinking. The term itself was introduced back in 1972 by the psychologist Irving Jānis, who also identified four prerequisites for his appearance in a group of people - this is a strong leader, team cohesion and outside pressure. Later a number of other psychologists noted that the signs may be different, but these still can be attributed to the main ones.

In such a society, censorship, stereotypical thinking, the willingness of each group member to agree with the generally accepted point of view or to be silent, which is also indirectly considered as consent, are widespread.

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If such characteristics are peculiar to your team, then how to deal with group thinking? To begin with, it is necessary to discuss this with the participants, to explain its negative consequences, namely, stagnation in development.

It is also necessary to explain and understand yourself how important it is to express a point of view. Of course, it’s not always worth doing - let's say when everyone is having fun at a party, you shouldn’t overshadow the mood of those present with unnecessary arguments. However, when it comes to a truly important collective decision that may entail risks, it will be wrong to keep silent just because you are afraid of the reaction of the environment.