There have even been several high profile government and corporate scandals in the last few years where one of the root causes was “groupthink” and a reluctance to put forward or entertain alternate viewpoints. While I don’t think most leaders are headed down a road to ruin, I do think we can all benefit from opening the aperture on what we’re doing and making sure we aren’t “living in a bubble”.
Some things you can do to “Break the Bubble”:
- Engage in active listening. Really listen to what your team is saying. Are there dissenting opinions? Don’t let team members (or yourself) shoot down dissent without taking some time to think it through.
- Encourage critical thinking. Ask tough questions; think about potential outcomes and impacts. Challenge your team to do the same.
- Seek out alternate perspectives. If everyone on your team is in agreement, make your pitch to someone who’s not on your team to get a fresh look at it. Someone who isn’t so close to the solution may be able to ask some insightful questions or highlight a risk area you hadn’t seen.
- Ask the quiet guy in the back of the room what he thinks. Some people aren’t always as outgoing as the rest. They often have good ideas and just need a little push to share them. Some well thought out insights from someone who has been listening to what everyone else has been saying can sometimes break a problem wide open!
Ultimately, you’re the boss and decisions rest with you. Just because sought out some alternative perspectives doesn’t mean you have to follow them. Use the ideas you think are valuable and make sure to give credit where credit is due. Great things come from expanding your worldview, so “break the bubble” and see what else is out there!