I like to think of groupthink as the sheep mentality. It’s kind of like the way sheep follow each other and do everything together. Can groupthink be a good thing? Yes when you are working as a team and everyone is able to come to a common solution that is helpful. Where it goes bad is when individuals don’t want to or don’t feel like they can or just don’t think for themselves. This is where the word conformity comes into play. Everyone conforming to the “norm” of the group.
Diversity is what makes the world go round. Without it we would not see creative thinking or be able to advance in our technology or expand our minds. Thinking, acting, and believing the same as everyone else puts us at a distinct disadvantage. Groupthink stunts our personal growth and makes us cookie cutter versions of each other. How boring is that? To me that’s super boring. I love to see people thinking for themselves and not going along with the status quo.
preventing groupthink starts with us
1) Diversify the people you hang out with. Don’t just hang out with people who think, act, believe or look like you.
2) Listen to opposing views with an open mind.
3) Get your information from a variety of places. Even try getting it from new places once in awhile.
4) Have new experiences. New experiences = new people.
5) Question everything. Don’t be afraid to place devils advocate.
We really need to check our belief and opinions. Does everyone around us believe the same thing? Are we closed off to opposing views? Why do we even believe these things in the first place? I had a conversation with my husband about profanity that helps explain this. I believe words are only words. We decide what power they have by how we use them. The only reason some words are considered taboo is because someone somewhere made them that way. Back in the day ass meant donkey and bitch meant female dog.
The problem with groupthink is it prevents us from thinking outside the box. Instead of questioning everything we just go along with it. In extremes this is how Nazis and cults were formed. We must be willing to decide on our own how we feel about the world. That may mean being different than your best friend or your sister. That’s ok because that’s how change occurs. Remember you are brave, you are beautiful, you are amazing and YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!