DEFINE – GroupThink : 30-57

Eight “Symptoms” of Groupthink (IV-30)


Many people think solutions proposed to team projects would be fairly conservative.  In other words, any proposed solution his what would normally be done.  Nevertheless, teams often get swept up with expansive and expensive remedies.

One-way to combat the aforementioned outcomes is to openly discuss risky–shift in the initial training.  Alternatively, the team and engage in a full-fledged discussion about the issue.

Additional Team Problem Areas

Let’s glancing a list of some team problem areas which are frequently encountered  and must be addressed by team liters, facilitators, sponsors, and upper management ( see list IV-31)

Team Communications (IV-32)

Motivating people, collaborating with people, including getting things done by people are all accomplished with communication.  An effective liter will operate in the capacities of:

  • Monitor of external information from contacts, peers, or experts
  • Monitor of internal information
  • Disseminator or distributor of information
  • Spokesperson to outsiders
  • Decision-maker using gathered information

Some common purposes of communication are:

  • To influence the work of peers or organizational employees
  • To inform employees of necessary job performance information
  • To control the organizations progress toward the objectives
  • To inspire employees through displays of values, attitudes, and modeling

Communication Forms (IV-32)

There are various forms of communication, the range spans everything from spoken word (telephone, face–to-face, and even the internet).  Oral communications are normally two-way channels.    Examples of written communication include: letters, reports, and emails.  Written communications are one-way channels.  One-way feedback or responses are not immediately.  However, two-way communication generally allows for immediate feedback from the receiver and to the sender (two-way).

Nonverbal is another popular form of communication. (IV-32)

  • Head movements
  • Eye contact
  • Body posture
  •  leg positions
  • Head movements
  • Use of the interpersonal space (proxemics)        (Schermerhorn 1993)

Questioning Techniques (IV-33)

The skillful use of questions his great value to team leaders.  The following is Scholtes suggestions of seven (7) questions that managers should ask:

  • Why?  Use the Japanese technique of asking why, five (5) times.
  • What is the purpose?
  • What will it take to accomplish the project?
  • Will someone care?
  • What is your theory (hypothesis) on the subject?
  • What data do you have?
  • Where did your data come from?

The following are some additional ideas , for the art of asking questions, provided by Auvine:

  • Avoid leading questions: let the group(s) or individual(s) draw their own conclusion
  • Phrase questions in a positive manner
  • Prepare questions in advance of the interview

In line with this, the use of open-ended questions will allow for some discussion and probing rather than just a simple “yes “or “no” answer.

Listening Strategies (IV-34)

While likely most critical, the other half of the communication strategy, listening, has received far too little attention.  Effective project leaders have learned to master the art of listening.

disposition show the project leader will spend up to 45% of the time being a good listener.  Active listening, defined as helping find the source of problems or meanings, is recommended.  While a passive listener were respond in a manner that will discourage the transmitter (message sender)  from saying anymore, the active listener encourages communication clarity.

TIPS for good listening include:

  • Put the sender of the message (the messenger) at ease
  • Show that he/she want to listen
  • Remove listening distractions
  • Empathize with the person (messenger)
  • Be patient with the response
  • Hold your own temper
  • Avoid arguing and criticism
  • Ask questions
  • Stop talking

Many of us would rather adhere ourselves speak than listen to the other people(s).  The good news is listening skills can be learned and developed with practice.

Conflict Resolution (IV-35)

Conflict is the result of mutually exclusive objectives or views, manifested by emotional responses such as anger,  fear, frustration, and elation.  Some conflicts are inevitable in human relationships.  When one’s actions may be controlled by the actions of another, there is an opportunity for c some common causes of conflict  – listed on IV-35

Conflicts may be categorized as to the relationship between the parties involved in the conflict:

  • Intrapersonal–within in individual
  • Interpersonal–between  and two people
  • Intragroup–within a group
  • Intergroupt–between groups
  • Interdepartmental–between departments
  • Intercompany–between companies

The results of conflicts may be positive in some instances, negative and others, and irrelevant in still others.  Irrelevant conflicts occur when the outcomes has neither positive nor negative effects on either party.

Positive conflicts result in:

  • A combined desire to unite and improve
  • Win–win situations
  • Creative ideas brought forth
  • Better understanding of tasks, problems
  • Better understanding of other’s views
  • Wider selection of alternatives
  • Increased employee interest and participation
  • Increased motivation and energy

Negative conflicts results in:

  • Hostile, impulsive drives to destroy                                         * Undesirable consequences
  • Win-lose situations                                                                      * Isolation
  • Los – lose situation                                                                       * Loss of productivity

Conflict Resolution Matrix (IV-36)

According to Tjosvold (1984) the following guidelines can be used by Project liters to resolve conflicts (IV-37)

  • Determine how important the issue is to all involved
  • Determine if the issue can be discussed by all involved
  • Select a private meeting place
  • Make sure that all parties understand their responsibilities
  • The parties must deal with both the problem’s solution
  • etc…

Negotiation Techniques (IV-38 -thru- IV-39)

Nierenberg states that negotiating is the active exchanging ideas or changing relationships to meet any very as common and is important as negotiating his in every day life, most people learn to negotiate through trial and error.  Negotiating should be a process of using overwhelming and irresistible force on the other party.  Some degree of cooperation must be employed in the process.

Interest – Based Bargaining

For all intentions and purposes, Interest-Based Bargaining can be considered, Win-Win bargaining.

Win-Win Negotiations

With Win-Win,  negotiations are not treated as a competitive game; the concept of win-win is that both sides in marriage with a successful deal.

  • Establish win–win plans
  • Develop win–win relationships
  • Form win–win agreements
  • Performed win–win maintenance