|Re: Group Think||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Robin Alexander (alexande.robiuwlax.edu)|
|Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2011 12:26:30 -0700 (PDT)|
We had a situation similar to what Norman describes but found a good way out of it. We had a pet policy brought to the group after quite a bit of work and compromise (we have a surprising degree of polarization around pets - surprising to me anyway). There was some pressure to accept the proposal but those who were opposed stood fast and over the next few months a small group consisting of the "extreme" ends of the issue as well as some moderates met frequently and managed to hash out a policy everyone could live with if not totally happily. Thus we avoided a vote or "forcing" consensus on the group. Many of us never thought that we could pull it off and we were very happy that we did. So the key was incorporating the objectors and their willingness to be incorporated into the working group and the willingness on all sides to make (significant to them) compromises. Robin A. (no flames please) -----Original Message----- From: Norman Gauss [mailto:normangauss [at] charter.net] Sent: Saturday, July 02, 2011 11:09 PM To: 'Cohousing-L' Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Group Think I have seen group think in action when I have introduced cautions on proposals being deliberated in community meetings. I have been branded an obstructionist by group leaders if my arguments seem to detract from the proposal. If the group is enthusiastic, the non-committed people are likely to go along with them. Then the next step is consensus by the end of the meeting. If that does not happen, the proposer may experience disappointment, which may weigh on the feelings of the group, thus discouraging such an outcome. Also, if consensus is not reached, the community has to re-examine the issue in another meeting, thus risking a decline of group interest and patience to re-examine the proposal. Therefore, the sooner the community accepts the proposal the better, even if there are serious defects that need to be corrected. Sometimes a special committee may be selected to work on a proposal. When the committee finally presents its proposal, there sometimes is pressure to accept it because, "They have worked long and hard on it and they deserve to have the proposal accepted". There is usually ovation when a proposal is consensed, as if the achievement is passage of the proposal rather taking time to be satisfied once passage has occurred. Sometimes after passage, people ask questions on what they have just approved. Because of group think we have sometimes consensed on proposals on which later improvement was needed. Of course, rehashing an issue can be boring to the membership. If the facilitator does not feel that such an item should be put on the agenda because of little interest from the group, the item has been known to be omitted. Norm Gauss Oak Creek Commons Paso Robles, CA -----Original Message----- From: Robin Alexander [mailto:alexande.robi [at] uwlax.edu] Sent: Saturday, July 02, 2011 8:59 AM To: Cohousing-L Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Group Think Very interesting and counter-intuitive to me. Where I have seen group-think in action, the key characteristics of the group that led to it are 1) there is a sense of perceived danger from outside, 2) any hint of questioning the emerging policy is seen as disloyalty to the group itself (not just the policy) and is not to be tolerated. Members who even bring up points for consideration are so branded and their ideas are not considered and if they persist they may be excluded from the group. This does not sound like amiability and esprit de corps to me. It seems to usually require a degree of paranoia in the group. It would be very interesting (and disturbing) if group-think would tend to arise *merely* from the existence of amiability and esprit de corps in the group. Robin A Alexander -----Original Message----- From: Sharon Villines [mailto:sharon [at] sharonvillines.com] Sent: Saturday, July 02, 2011 9:08 AM To: Cohousing-L Cohousing-L Subject: [C-L]_ Group Think In working on another project I came across the original source of "group think". "The more amiability and esprit de corps among the members of the of a policy-making in-group, the greater is the danger that independent critical thinking will be replaced by group-think, which is likely to result in irrational and dehumanizing actions directed against and out-group." Irving Janis, 1972. Sharon ---- Sharon Villines Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC http://www.takomavillage.org _________________________________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at: http://www.cohousing.org/cohousing-L/ _________________________________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at: http://www.cohousing.org/cohousing-L/ _________________________________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at: http://www.cohousing.org/cohousing-L/
- Re: Group Think, (continued)
- Re: Group Think Robin Alexander, July 3 2011
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