Leadership Nudge 94 – Avoid Group Think
Today we are going to talk about avoiding group think using this one simple tool. We use probability cards. The key to avoiding group think is to ask people what they think first before you have the conversation – before you contaminate them with what you think, or what the group thinks.
We use this deck of cards that has a 1, 5, 20, 50, 80, 95, and 99 card. We can ask a question like, “how strongly do you feel that we should include this feature in the new software?” or “how strongly do you feel that we should delay the release?” or “what’s the probability that this assumption will come true?” We then have people in our teams slide out a number card, face down. The meeting facilitator then flips them all face up.
At this stage, the key is to focus on the outliers. Let’s say we turned the cards face up and most of them were 95 and 99 cards. You even noticed a few 80 cards. The group seems very heavily weighted in one direction. Then you notice a 5 card. You think to yourself, “Well, why might someone put out a 5?” You don’t need to necessarily call out the person that put the 5 out. Just say, “let’s talk about it, why might someone put out a 5?” Let your team talk before you share.
My leadership nudge to you this week is this:
Ask the team first. Hear what they think, and then have the conversation.
Let us know how it goes!
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