When your business is experiencing a challenging problem, you will likely help a team handle the troubles. After all, a group of experts can think and plan better as compared to an individual. Right?
We have been using this strategy for a long past, but it is high time to understand that the larger pool of knowledge doesn’t guarantee better decision-making. In this case, the thought process is greatly affected by over-reliance, desire to preserve harmony, and instinct to prevent dissent.
However, it doesn’t mean that groups cannot make the right decisions. But it would be best if you were careful about following the appropriate process. Here we have listed a few simple strategies from Doug McClure that you can follow to ensure effective group decision making:
Set up a small group:
Many studies reveal that larger groups often lead to biased decision making. When seven or more members work on the same problem, they are likely to be consistent with some pre-existing believes and information. Experts advise keeping the group’s size less than five members so that you can benefit from multiple perspectives without suffering confirmation bias issues.
Prefer heterogeneous group:
Generally, a group having individuals with homogenous opinions is likely to fall into biased-decision making. However, teams that have an opposing point of view can counter biases. When you need to solve some complex business problems, it is better to consider heterogeneous groups with diverse skills and opinions.
Appoint one strategic dissenter
One of the best tricks to counter undesirable groupthink is to appoint a devil’s advocate in the team. This person must be allowed to counterforce the group’s opinions and challenge the quality of the decision. Larger groups can even have two strategic dissenters to ensure improved outcomes.
Collect independent opinions
The group’s collective knowledge can bring several advantages to your business but only when the information is used carefully. To benefit from the team members’ diverse capabilities, you should gather opinions individually before sharing thoughts. It is better to ask team members to record ideas on a paper before giving a final collective decision so that you can resist groupthink and avail alleged expertise.
Create a safe discussion area
While working in a group to solve a particular problem, people should feel free to share their opinions. Encourage divergent opinions, experiences, and doubts more respectfully. Harness the group diversity with positivity and focus on the strategy instead of the individual. The suggestions and appreciations must always be open.
Don’t over-rely on experts.
Although experts can help business owners make informed decisions, blind trust can also lead to biased and distorted outcomes. Invite experts to share their opinions openly while staying informed about ongoing situations. Make an in-depth analysis of every idea without showing any overconfident judgment.
Share collective responsibility
The outcome of the group activity must be the responsibility of every member of the group. It may help to organize the plan and communicate results more clearly. When different roles are assigned to every member, they are likely to feel accountable for the outcome.
These simple strategies and steps can help you guarantee unbiased and reliable decision making.