They see the flaw and are aware of their reservations but choose not to speak out because they believe others support it. Because individual members do not voice dissent, collective decisions move forward unchallenged. Psychological Safety and the Abilene Paradox There is a greater risk of the Abilene if members of a group are uncomfortable with disagreeing with each other. A psychologically safe workplace encourages and accepts differing opinions, both in formal discussions and in a general sense of mutual respect. When people do succumb to this psychological trap, it exacerbates the lack of psychological safety. Because no one talks it unknowingly reinforces that it’s not safe to do so.
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Members of the group felt a real risk in their actions. You may notice that people agree with an idea but then hesitate or refuse to take responsibility for it. Building a culture that values creativity Italy Phone Numbers List innovation, and diversity of thought can help prevent Abilene’s paradox from happening in the first place. How to Create a Culture That Minimizes the Abilene Paradox The first step in combating the Abilene Paradox is for leaders to recognize that it exists. The problem will persist without realizing it. Knowing what to look for and challenging consensus helps create opportunities for people to speak honestly. Here are some ways to build psychological safety in your team by appointing a devil’s advocate.
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Putting a team member in charge of disagreeing with the team helps prevent the Abilene paradox. This person should have a deep understanding of the team’s mission and values and be willing to speak up when disagreeing with the decisions of the majority. Openly discuss differing points of view Lead Sale or create space for team members to voice their opinions outside of meetings. Prioritize diversity in your team If your team is homogenous it is likely that similar views will be acknowledged while others will be dismissed. This can lead to groupthink and the Abilene Paradox. Create opportunities for diverse perspectives to inform team decision-making and foster organizational creativity. The possible conflicts caused by different opinions can help the team explore new ideas and make better decisions.