TheNewLifeGroup – Counseling and Executive Coaching
HOW GROUPTHINK CAN PUT THE FUN IN DYSFUNCTIONAL
So I believe the story goes something like this: A guy comes home from college on semester break back to his family farm somewhere near Abilene, Texas. Around the house are various siblings and relatives with not much to do during the holidays.
On a lark, he says, “Hey guys let’s go into town to Abilene! Let’s do something.” Some of them kind of grouse and others lightly protest. But he says, “No, come on. We’re not doing anything! Come on let’s go to Abilene or some place.”
So they pile in the car more or less reluctantly with some having an anticipation of going on some sort of adventure.
About half hour outside of Abilene somebody finally speaks up and says, “Hey, why we are going to Abilene?” This college kid replies “Well, I thought you guys wanted to go to Abilene.” Then somebody else says, “No, that was your idea!” Then he says, “No, that was just a suggestion! I just didn’t want us to be hanging out around on the house and not doing anything.” “Oh” says another, “I thought you really wanted to go to Abilene. “No”, he says., “I just want to get moving.”
As it turns out this group think he got them to drive for an hour and a half. I don’t know what they finally did. But I do know that they ended up a half hour outside of Abilene with no real consensus.
Is your group or organization taking trips that nobody really wants to take? Are you ending up in places nobody really wants to be? Are you going on adventures that nobody has really agreed to? Do people feel like they can’t speak up?
If this is a pattern in your organization you might want some help in breaking up this phenomenon. It can be expensive and time consuming if you don’t, not to mention annoying, frustrating and taking you in the wrong direction. Getting somebody from the outside can really help.