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Once & For All: Stopping Sexual Harassment at Work

Posts Tagged ‘Effective Decision Making Training Videos’

Beware of These Common Cognitive Biases

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

If critical thinking was easy, everyone would do it.

Every day we are faced with cognitive challenges to effective thinking. From emotions to unchecked assumptions and ambiguous data, we constantly make decisions without applying the rigors of critical thinking. Cognitive biases are frequent barriers to rational thought and effective decision making, but we are rarely conscious of our own biases.

Here’s a great graphic from Business Insider (see just below) that shows 20 of the most popular cognitive biases in decision making. (more…)

The Abilene Paradox – How you can skip the trip!

Monday, October 13th, 2014

confroomIn our first article of this series, we learned how a family trip to Abilene on a 104-degree Texas afternoon led Professor Jerry Harvey to discover what he calls “The Abilene Paradox.” The paradox occurs when groups take actions in contradiction to what the individual members really want to do. Remember that Professor Harvey described the Abilene Paradox as the inability to manage agreement rather than the inability to manage conflict.

We’ve also explored six tell-tale signs that will help us recognize when we might be on a” trip to Abilene” and four underlying psychological dynamics that create the conditions for the Paradox. The question is…what do we do about it?

If we believe our group or organization is caught in the Paradox – and is “on the road to Abilene” –Professor Harvey recommends we speak up and confront the Paradox in a group setting. Working within the context of a group is important, because the dynamics of the Abilene Paradox involve collusion among group members.

The first step in the confrontation is to “own up” to our true beliefs and be open to the feedback we receive when we share them. By owning up, we let others know we’re concerned that the group may be making a decision based on inaccurate data. To illustrate this, let’s revisit this workplace scenario (from article two). (more…)

Why We Take “The Road to Abilene”

Monday, October 6th, 2014

abelinecarIn our previous two articles we introduced Professor Jerry Harvey’s concept of the Abilene Paradox and how it affects group decision making in both our personal and work lives. We also reviewed six tell-tale signs that a group or work team has stumbled into the Paradox and is “on the road to Abilene.”

In this post we will explore the psychological underpinnings of the Paradox. Why would a group of people (families, companies, or even governments) take action in contradiction to the data they have for dealing with a problem and, as a result, compound the problem rather than solve it?

According to Professor Harvey, group members are impacted by a number of psychological factors.

  • The first principle is action anxiety—an intense uneasiness created when we think about acting in accordance with what we believe needs to be done. Action anxiety occurs as we anticipate the results of taking action, and the results we foresee are negative instead of positive.
  • Negative fantasies or perceived risk are visualizations where we focus on the harmful effects resulting from our actions, rather than improvements to the situation. They provide an excuse for not taking responsible action.



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