Insights focused - Lesson 4: your reflections


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CIPD Staff

17 Jan, 2020 11:24

Welcome to the online community learning space for the lesson: Appraising the evidence. Use this forum to discuss the community reflective activity in the lesson. Read the contributions of others, ‘liking’ those you find helpful and add your unique reflections to the conversation by replying to this post. Click here to return to the lesson page at any time.

Community reflective activity:
‘Group think’ occurs when people want to maintain harmony and minimise conflict but which can result in irrational decision making.
In the learning community, post a key factor that you think contributes to group think and suggest a way to challenge it.
Then look at other posts and add a comment to suggest additional ideas that could help. 

  • There are plenty of reasons for groupthink - wishing to appease a superior, avoiding conflict out of politeness or a fear of an aggressive reaction / lack of evidence to back your own contrary point of view, maintaining social harmony, deferring to perceived expertise, all could play a part, as may how / where discussions take place. A method which could provide an intervention is a built-in devil's advocate / null hypothesis feature which becomes a systematic feature of any decision making discussion
  • Exploring the concept of trustworthy data was interesting. Always useful to check who commissioned the work and sample sizes. Does beg the question with so much poor quality info out there does that actually put us off trying to be insights focussed? The other video on evidence based practice was useful also, there were a lot of different presenters so I liked the different points (insights) of view! Liked the idea of a post truth era.
  • Factors not mentioned by other posters is the lack of ability to reflect critically, or a realisation that the benefits of challenging the consensus outweigh the drawbacks.
  • A key factor I think is time - when people are rushed into making decisions groupthink can mean that a decision is arrived at quickly even if it's the wrong one. I think that by allowing time to reflect on the situation and then managing a meeting where everyone gets a chance to voice their opinion before looking at different possibilties in more detail
  • I agree with those factors that Tim listed as contributors for groupthink. In my experience, the most common is because people are worried to be different or to disagree with a senior for fear of consequences.

    The best way to challenge this is for Senior Leaders to demonstrate that the working environment is a safe space and tailor their language to prove this is the case. Any questions? is the most commonly heard presentation ender, but is not actively inviting disagreement even if the asker believes it to be. Activiely inviting people to suggest why the thinking may be wrong and agreeing that it could be, allows people to answer the questions from a different perspective.

    One of the most useful and insighful books I have read on this area is "Leadership is language: The hidden power of what you say, and what you don't." I found it very eye opening, and changed the whole way in which I approach my teams for feedback and input.

    Link below for anyone who is interested :-)