Practical Group Process: How To Avoid Groupthink

Presented by: Pat Wagner

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Program Number: PM 212

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Consciously or unconsciously, people on a committee often bond. Too quickly, they come to agreement. Decisions are made, but information is not verified, and alternative methods are not identified and explored. The initial satisfaction of making a quick decision, verified by the group’s consensus, does not guarantee a successful outcome.


  • Introduction: What Is Groupthink?
  • The Key Idea: Consensus Is Not Always A Good Thing
  • What Creates Groupthink?
  • False Consensus: Conflict Avoidance
  • Can Everything Be Questioned?
  • Refutation: The Devil’s Advocate
  • When It Is Safe To Decide?


  • Disrupt false consensus by assigning a “friendly” opposition.
  • Create small group processes to offer alternatives.
  • Provide for a minority to validate dissent.

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