Sometimes, I think I have the best answers to challenges that face a church/organization. After tasting the leather of my size 10 ½ shoe too many times, I’ve come to embrace the power of Group Think.
“Without advice plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed.” (God’s Word Translation).
It is the intentional seeking out of ideas from others so that YOU can make an informed decision. This is important for people to know – “Who is it that is making the decision?” Sometimes Group Think is as simply as asking other individuals what they think. Other times, it takes place in a scheduled session.
So how do you hold a Group Think session?
BEFORE THE SESSION:
- Invite the right people. Ask “Who has experience in this area and who could bring some fresh perspective?” “Who has faced this issue before and succeeded?” “What character traits of people would I like to see represented?” Also important – “How many people do I want involved.” Remember, you’re not seeking consensus but ideas.
- Pre-present the issue to the group. Letting people percolate ahead of time staves off the feeling that no one has any contribution to make. This is helpful when you’re brainstorming names of people for teams or venues to expand a brand or ministry.
AT THE SESSION:
- Hold your idea of a solution loosely. Many times, the solution I come up with is only partially headed in the right direction. Keep open to the fact that someone else might have an idea or experience that helps clarify or redirect your initial thought.
- PRAY publicly! Seriously. In prayer you invite God to take the thoughts of the group conversation, blend it with His will and deliver it to the decision maker(s).
- State information about the problem selectively. Remember that too much information causes overload and too little cause too many questions. Give them a skeleton of the issue and let them fill out the skin and muscles.
- Ready? Set? Go! Open it up and create an atmosphere of freedom and safety. You want people to share their ideas without the fear of being criticized. In my experience, it is important to have some one else take notes so I was available to clarify someone’s brainstorming or invite the quieter folks to state their opinion.
Group Think is a powerful way to uncover possibilities and opportunities that may have slipped by you before.
Question: One is one area in life which a Group Think could be of help to you? Write a reply below …