August 16, 2015

Six Sigma Team Tool: Facilitation & Groupthink

Resource: Team Facilitation Faciliate the team Group thinking together as group

Team Facilitation
Team leader can be the facilitator, however, many companies use outside facilitators. Facilitators are useful in Assisting a group in the following ways.
•Identifying members of the group that need training or skill building
•Avoiding team impasses before the task is completed
•Providing feedback on group effectiveness
•Summarizing points made by the group
•Balancing group member activity so each member is able to provide inputs
•Helping to secure resources that team needs
•Providing an outside neutral perspective
•Clarifying points of view on issues
•Keeping the team on track with the process
•Helping the interpersonal difficulties that may arise
•Focusing on progress
•Assessing the change process
•Assessing the cultural barriers (attitudes, personalities)
•Assessing how well groups are accomplishing their purpose
•Asking for feelings on sensitive issues
•Helping the leader to do his/her job more easily
•Coaching the leader and participants
If there is no facilitator, the team leader or an assigned Master Black Belt must assume many of above duties.

The facilitator must avoid
•Being judgmental of team members or their ideas, comments, opinions
•Taking sides or becoming caught-up in the subject matter
•Dominating the group discussions
•Solving a problem or giving an answer
•Making suggestions on the task instead of the process

Groupthink
Groupthink is ‘A mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in group, When members’strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action”. (Irving Janis (1971)

Eight “symptoms”of groupthink
1.Illusion of invulnerability: feeling that the group is above criticism or beyond attack
2.Belief in inherent morality of group: feeling that the group is inherently ‘right’and above any reproach by
outsiders
3. Collective rationalization: refusing to accept contradictory data or to consider alternatives thoroughly
4.Out-group stereotypes: refusing to look realistically at other groups
5.Self-censorship: refusing to communicate personal concerns to the group as a whole
6.Illusion of unanimity: accepting consensus prematurely, without testing its completeness
7.Direct pressure on dissenters: refusing to tolerate a member whosuggest the group may be wrong
8.Self-appointed mindguard: protecting the group from hearing disturbing ideas or viewpoints from outsiders