In a recent onboarding/coaching session, the topic of group-think came up. It was in the context of a legacy culture “informing” a new leader, because “that’s the way we do things around here” Yep, the legacy culture assigned meanings and standards for people to go on as they provided predictability and it’s what “we all know.”
Question: Who won the 1994 World Series? Answer: Nobody. The 1994 World Series was canceled on September 14 of that year due to an ongoing strike by the Major League Baseball Players Association
How many answered - The Atlanta Braves? (I did too)
It is not that difficult for individual or groups of people to fall into thought patterns. This may even include tacit approval for behaviors or attitudes that hurt the esprit ‘d corp of an organization or Team.
Here are five thought patterns to be on the look-out for and dealt with:
1. Jumping to Conclusions – The tendency to jump to unjustified conclusions, make quick assumptions about how things are and what they’re going to be like in the future (predictive thinking), or you will assume that you know what someone else is thinking (mind reading). These conclusions and assumptions are not based on fact or evidence but rather based on
feelings and personal opinions.
2. Personalization - Tendency to blame yourself for persona, problems and for everything that goes wrong in life. You might, for instance, continuously blame yourself for your misfortunes and bad luck. Taking responsibility for things is admirable, however, it can end up being a very burdensome habit-of-mind that leads to very strong feelings of regret.
3. Musting / Shoulding - Tendency to put unreasonable demands and pressure on oneself and on other people to do certain things. You might say, “I must… I should… You must… You should…”. These statements may provide insight into personal standards about the things you expect of yourself and others. These standards can at times be helpful, however at other times “musting” / “shoulding” can create unrealistic expectations.
4. Overgeneralization – Tendency to reference the past in order to make assumptions about the present. For example, a person may take one instance from the past and use that as a “predictor” for a current or future situation. Whenever we hear the words “He always… She always… Everyone… You never… People never… I never…” overgeneralizing is likely taking place.
5. Catastrophising - Tendency to blow things out of proportion and make them out to be worse than they are. The impact of a situation might actually be quite insignificant, but those in the mode of catastrophizing, they tend to make problems larger than life — thereby making the problems even more difficult to overcome.