Authenticity and Groupthink

Authenticity and Groupthink

We live in a world of growing paradoxes and contradicting needs. One example that clouded my mind for some time is the need to be authentic and conformity with the group leading to groupthink. Being authentic might be against what most of the group thinks. Would you be authentic or lean to the group to gain popularity and not feel being the odd number among others?

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If we look at the Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs, we find that humans need to satisfy social needs before they may seek authenticity and being self to gain self-esteem. The higher the gap is, the greater the stress resulting from the β€œhigh voltage” of the gap of conflicting needs.

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Groupthink could lead to disastrous decisions. An individual with high authenticity and self-esteem may decide to stay honest to his ideas and then suffer from the pressure of the group and even sarcasm. The yield point of an individual might force this individual to side by the group and be dishonest to self and his/her integrity.

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The trouble of the stress resulting from not being authentic in order to satisfy others may not show immediately and may build-up secretly to reach a critical state for an individual suffering from this stress and collapse. Like a pile of sand collapsing suddenly from the addition of one grain of sand. It is the ego the center of the field of consciousness playing against the persona and how the person wants to the outside world to please other. It is as if a person is wearing an eyeglass with the left eye seeing the ugliness of self and the other seeing the satisfaction of others to self.

I quote from the comment of Jerry Fletcher on my previous buzz the following” History, for the most part, is based on the joint actions of groups. But humans are individuals. The individual can understand what is going on and take advantage of a situation because of that knowledge. the group can only respond to the stimuli in its environment. That is why some individuals are seen as "forward thinkers" or "wizards”. This comment resonated with me so much because it timed with my preparation of the draft of this buzz. Yes, we are individuals, but the authenticity level varies. Too much authenticity and individuals remain individuals like sand grains that don’t stick together. Being on the group side is unsafe as well because individuals may over-stick to each other like clayey particles do. Do we need to seek the balance between the two? I believe such balances are the major challenges leaders need to deal with today.

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I say that the β€œlaw of group attraction” is a challenge to trap us in its sweet poison unless we are sure it is sweet honey.


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Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#58
Much appreciated is your good reaction dear Tausif Mundrawala

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#56
Dear Tausif Mundrawala- I accept your explanation and clarification. Thank you

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#54
This is saddening,but it happens repeatedly.Do we learn? A blind leader shall only lead others astray.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

1 year ago #41

#53
Sadly we need not look far for the tragedies of authenticity gone wrong. WeWorks a heavily invested in start up has fallen with near a billion in losses and many employees who followed the authenticity of its leader. Tequila shots at meetings and discussions etc... The leaders authenticity will net him north of 100 million in the fall out. His employees are being offered a new start in life, unemployed. A sad day for leadership and specifically servant leadership.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#52
Your last line summarized the questions and provided the answer. Thank you, Harvey.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

1 year ago #39

#51
#50 The word authentic is a very challenging word for me. Its use and definition is inside a matrix that requires no virtue. Authenticity is in the eyes of the beholder. A self concept that tells the group i am unique in my own way. My authenticity was given by those in my past who were not authentic but rather very servant oriented. In lieu of giving me their position they gave me what they empathetically saw i needed. I was being authentically stupid while they were authentic in their love and service. I see that now, but couldnt see it then. Who or whom might give me the freedom to be authentic? Would i be authentic on a deserted island, with no one to give me permission? If i could remove the word authentic from your thought and replace it with "Servant Leadership" i would agree with your conclusions. Being authentic i can not withstand the battles of those who are also being authentic. But with servant leadership i can stand with all other authenticity and offer hope.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#50
Tausif Mundrawala- O paused reading this part of your comment "I could only be my authentic self when given full freedom to express myself". Is full freedom ever given?Is it possible to work in a limitless space? Fractals, with their great and admiring versatility" grow within simple rules. If these rules don't exist no fractals shall form. And within the boundaries of these rules they seem infinite in their contained space. I invite Fay Vietmeier to help me answer these questions.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#48
Luke Visser Chappaqua- welcome to beBee and I appreciate your evaluation.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#46
Thank you and well-said Kevin Baker

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#41
You know Roberto De la Cruz Utria merits a very detailed response for you raise many important issues. To begin with you wrote "Majority thinking normally does not suddenly assimilate a different approach"- We say that how the individuals interact culture emerges. I am thinking now if the opinion of the majority isn't the result of the interactions of the ideas of many individuals. If individuals accept the first idea then what emerges is a poor majority opinion. The leaders should accept that for a bright idea to emerge many ideas should interact so that feedback may result among them. "Being authentic does not always mean being right, but if we could feel freer, and with more peace with ourselves, we get rid of the "slavery" of popular appearances and beliefs", This is a second important issue. Yes, we should free ourselves from being slaves to others and express our views freely. This doesn't mean that we become adamant, it means that we are acceptable of other ideas if proven more appropriate. We shouldn't be slaves to our mistaken ideas as much we shouldn't be slaves to others. Your laugh paragraph shows you are a very humble person my friend. When people say good things about you without knowing you in person they are expressing their thoughts of how you interacted with others over time. This is what emerged. No need for embarrassment my friend.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#38
Indeed, how we interpret the meaning of a word affects our lives. We need to be authentic, but not self-centered. There is a difference between pursuing self-esteem and self-actualization and be of concern to others at the same time because this is a balanced explanation and being for self only. Maybe the spirit guides us which interpretation to follow Preston \ud83d\udc1d Vander Ven

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#36
Keep pumping ideas my friend for this is the best way to keep them flowing. You have the integrity not to pump out false money notes because easily the idiots would catch them thinking they are real. But you don't because you don't correct wrong acts wrongly.

David Navarro LΓ³pez

David Navarro LΓ³pez

1 year ago #32

#34
I have such experiences day in day out, but I really don't care. Whenever I notice it, it helps me to learn what kind of person I am dealing with, but no, guarding my thoughts it cost me too much energy, which I rather use to have more good ideas. To describe it more graphically, is like if I had a machine that produces money at high speed, faster than anyone can catch with bare hands, and I see people desperately trying to get each note while I, effortless, keep producing more and more, laughing at the sight of the poor idiots sweating for trying to steal what I can produce whenever I want. What I do guard very carefully is the integrity of my thoughts, so when someone tries to copy, I make sure they copy it well, otherwise, when the idea does not work, then the authorship comes back miraculously (and distorted) to the original author.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#34
Dear friend Cyndi wilkins- Truly I am speechless. My shine is a reflection of yours.

Cyndi wilkins

Cyndi wilkins

1 year ago #30

#28
"People on the contrary of rejecting me were following my steps, but, focused as I was I never noticed this fact." I had a similar experience with this recently David Navarro L\u00f3pez...and I found myself challenged to be more assertive with those who were attempting to benefit from my ideas while calling them their own...Using 'flashy language' to distract from the core of ideals is the practice of many a 'spin doctor' in the land of free will...So guard your thoughts as if they were your children. And I agree...Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee is a 'jewel among the stones.' Surely, he is sweet honey.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#32
Hi Jerry- I wish you a nice trip, yes, trust is the glue. I agree. Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic will ensure enjoy your comment and her mention.

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

1 year ago #28

Dr. Ali, On the road. leaving a conference in Dallas. One of the speakers was dealing with Ethics. All the arguments herein were presented in the room. The significant item was the point made by Lada. A well functioning team trusts each other enough to disagree and resolve the conflict without letting groupthink interfere. The point was made that the key element is this area is trust. It is the core of success. And so it goes.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#25
Harvey Lloyd- you never stop shaking our thoughts to make collide and see them in a different light. Reading your comment tempted me to ask you about your opinion of servant leadership? Your comments says that you are a supporter of this leadership style.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#28
My exceptional friend David Navarro L\u00f3pez- I am truly touched by you. You wrote "In my case, no matter what I did to satisfy others, I was never accepted". This is a subtle line in your comment and has many deep meanings and reflections. People know that when we aren't authentic and are fake. We aren't ourselves and what be see is a distorted copy. Who would prefer a copy to the original? You are right. As much as we think we may deceive all people, the reality is we are cheating ourselves. I am not surprised that you clarified this fact later by saying "And after a long period of time, I became aware that many people, on the contrary of rejecting me, was following my steps, but, focused as I was I never noticed this fact". You don't part of your authenticity my friend and in few occasions you expressed this by not accepting some of my thoughts. This solidified my respect to you and more my trust of you. I believe what you write for I know if you had something else in mind you will say it. My friend- you are the moon amid the dark clouds.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#27
Hello respectful Oswaldo Enrique Diaz Delgado- your comment resonates well with me again. I like your definition and evaluation of authenticity. Surely, I agree with you that It is beautiful when we feel words from the language of the heart, they resonate in our infinite being to make us more complete in the participation of others. If we have authenticity we respect others having theirs as well.

David Navarro LΓ³pez

David Navarro LΓ³pez

1 year ago #24

Congratulations on such a nice buzz, my dear Friend. The use of impacting images is very wise, aligned together with the thoughts. I would like to join my little grain of sand here, as I have been all my life the "odd" of my social environment. Social rejection has been the "standard" treatment I received. In your buzz it looks to me that being authentic is a choice which has along social rejection, or just "not fitting in". In my case, no matter what I did to satisfy others, I was never accepted. So, tired of reinventing myself according to the other's wishes, I started to be more authentic, building myself from the deepest and darkest corner of the cave, and starting from there, just doing the things it made me feel proud of myself, comfortable with myself, not looking left or right, not caring what others would do. And after a long period of time, I became aware that many people, on the contrary of rejecting me, was following my steps, but, focused as I was I never noticed this fact. So for me, being authentic is the only way to be popular amongst the people you really care, the ones who might share your views. In my opinion, there is no need to search for a balance between authenticity and being popular. Balance means you need to make surrenders, to make choices out of your "circle of will". No applause of a group can heal the curtail of one's beliefs. Be authentic. Forget about the rest. In the end, you are not so different from others, so the question here is to find them. The more authentic you become, the more likely you will find them, as being at peace with oneself is extremely magnetic. The problem might appear here, as this magnetism attracts many "wannabes" Wow. Ok, I am stopping here. I am sorry. This should be another buzz. By the way, my dear friend. You are yourself one of the "odds" A shiny jewels between mountains of mere stones. A jewel is not concerned of not being popular between stones. It shines and illuminates. Like you do.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#25
Your comment reminds me of the SCARF Model. AS you know, SCARF is the acronym for Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness. Your comment explains SCARF with clarity and logical thinking. You don't deny fear and you don't overlook the need to address it with empathy. A key issue is what you ended your comment with "Unifying language instead of dividing language". I only add unifying is an orderly state. Dividing is a chaotic state. Yes, a leader is the one who know how to make the environment conducive to turning chaos into order.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

1 year ago #22

Leaders should set the standard for teams within authenticity. Within any team project each member will experience "fear". Within this fear do i present the conclusionary statements that block the team from success or do i steer the team away from my fear in serving them? Every team member has the chance to contribute their skills and experiences. Within this charge a leader should expect that the fear will meet their skill and experience within solution before it is presented. The fear presented as a conclusionary statement of that fear, the other team members are left to correct the fear. The same fear that is within the presenters wheel house to navigate. Within any team project the direction will eventually run over your position. Its up to your "run over position" to evaluate a sustainable solution. Not run around and be authentic with the tire tread marks on your position. Given this position the leader now has two problems. A key member of the team is now in survival mode when the team itself still needs the sustainable solution. A good team member will recognize their own fears and channel them into serving the team. I have three concerns with the current direction of the thinking here, plus three solutions i would like to review. (Service) We cant do that because this, this and this will happen. (Survival) Unifying language instead of dividing language.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#22
Your key question "What happens when being authentic relies on our personal survival, instead of service" is a great one because this is the core of internal tension. Yes, answering this question wrongly shall send us in cascading failure. I believe the role of a leader is to reduce the risk of being authentic for the team members, if it is going to stay as a team. How could a team that is led by the tendency to survive be grow and be self-renewing? If a team doesn't grow and renew its skin it shall die for a if a plant doesn't grow it dies.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#21
This comment ranks among the best of your always best comments. Again, I am now pondering on "Reducing the group to a persona level achievement.". Apparently, our tendency to use reductionist approach to oversimplify issues is inherent in us. You mention our tendency to reduce the team to one thought or opinion. This way we stop the feedback among ideas and we see the trunk of an elephant as a hose.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

1 year ago #19

"What does it mean to have authenticity? Being authentic means coming from a real place within. It is when our actions and words are congruent with our beliefs and values. It is being ourselves, not an imitation of what we think we should be or have been told we should be". https://psychcentral.com/lib/ways-of-living-an-authentic-life/ What happens when being authentic relies on our personal survival, instead of service. Two totally different paradigms of thinking. Within any group, anyone could say anything. Given this premise the questions are: Do i see this statement as a threat to my survival? or; I see the fear given through statement and want serve to relieve that fear? You can see how within any given group, one person being authentic in their survival can engage the survival in all the others. It becomes a cascading failure.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

1 year ago #18

#20
If we have folks in a group, we know the success pattern to be, each is working for the other to be successful. Certainly a perfect world view. This means i have four folks working for my success. Inclusive and diverse. Does being authentic with my emotional position support or detract from those paradigm? Authenticity would seem to promote, within the five, i must be served first. Within the group all must be served according to skills and roles. I have witnessed what happens when authenticity comes to one person in the group. The other members begin doing the same thing. Reducing the group to a persona level achievement. Everyone got what they wanted but the solution, from the group, lacks any momentum or sustainability.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#18
yes, and this ties up nicely with my previous response to you Harvey Lloyd. You really got me thinking

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#17
I just can't uncouple your comment Harvey Lloyd #15 . She highlighted the difference between a team and group and your comment explains very well why groups rarely develop into teams. Somehow, I find myself correlating your comment with football teams such as Tottenham Hotspurs that CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit writes about quite often. What we call football (soccer) teams are mostly group of players. I think that your comment extend to these teams and explains their failure to perform according to the least expectations. This is a hot topic and surely deserving building on.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

1 year ago #15

Is authenticity a reflection we receive from others or is it something we generate? If i were on an island and no one was there to see my authenticity would i be authentic? Being authentic is suppose to return a reflection from others that reinforces. But can we truly sustain a reflection that is only at the persona level? Critical thinking would have us discuss alternative views, outcomes and other ego level representations of the issues. In being authentic i dont think critical thinking is necessarily involved. Its more of a authentic emotional engagement. We share the same emotions about an issue or person. Group think.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

1 year ago #14

I believe that you highlighted the persona level of thinking as we seek to connect with others. The internet has allowed us to develop quick and very static thoughts about issues and people. At the ego level though we have posts, video and general media who realize that this persona level distribution is very effective at the things you discuss here. They feed our persona from their ego level review of the issues. So much information available on so many topics limits our ability to sort out issues at our own ego level. By the time we do the homework on the one issue ten more have surfaced within the group. So we have the option to say i don't know or join in the discussion based on the persona level of understanding. Group think satisfies the deep need for connection, although a shallow connection. Groups should make us wise, giving us a deep understanding of the issues. More importantly the one in the group that is sharing at this depth is also developing a trust relationship within the group. Given each member of a group has diverse interests and skills, the group can now separate the persona level BS from the reality.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#15
Lada, you said it in a great way "team thinking, not group thinking". The challenge is to learn doing it. It is a skill. You do raise an interesting issue that I shall address in a post soon.

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

1 year ago #12

Ali, the topic of groupthink is interesting to me because it's related to construction project management as well. Conformity in a construction project team is necessary, but not in the form that doesn't allow team members to openly expresse their concerns and doubts regarding project goals. Going with the majority to avoid discourse only "feeds" the illusion of unanimity. In my team group, we are all unique but act as a team and solve issues through discussion just because of team thinking, not group thinking.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#9
Dear Oswaldo Enrique Diaz Delgado- two ideas resonate well with me in your comment- 1- Unleashing what is represented / represented before the law (LAWS), its authenticity to the value in society to foster reciprocal respect from both sides "Authority Vs Society" pillars that develop the personality of a fair and balanced society. 2- Finally, perception must originate from perfection for which human behavior would cease to apply the "ERROR AND TEST" Trial and error are the basic tool in modern management for when we try we can't predict the result. In our complex world changing the experiment slightly might change the outcome. We must try (act) and see what result we get and then act again. It is interesting that you mentioned the policeman. Yes, control is his way of doing things. Nut also, a policeman may help an old woman cross the road and assist an injured person in a car accident. There is a human value in whatever we do.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#11
Yes, power is in the hands of few who see their rightness and the wrongness of other views. As confining as this practice is it is further limiting by the old beliefs whether religious or other beliefs that failed to stand the test of time. Groupthink is controlling, expressing new idea is creative thinking. Control and creativity don't mix together. I am not saying that we need one or the other, but a balance of the two. If creativity is set free then we may be jumping from one idea to the other. Control is is make sure that testing an promising idea is done. I would say that as there is sweet stress so, there is sweet control. Sweet enough to keep the flow of creativity and not restrict it. This is a delicate balance that few can master.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#10
Thank you Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassadorp yes, it is advisable to test waters before dipping toe into it. The probability though is that while your body is hot with an idea most likely the foe shall find the waters chilly to the idea.

CityVP Manjit

CityVP Manjit

1 year ago #8

The group will continue to clamp down on the individual for the simple reason that allowing individuals to be individual goes against the power that controls groups. In rare cases the group might use an expression such as "now that was refreshingly honest' - but that is the lesser road because the underlying human conditioning equates with the expression "When in Rome do as the Romans do". How can we be authentically 21st Century when we live our values and life ways of life within in prior centuries. Religion compounds this problem because it compounds the conditioned existence we all are a part of. Instead of taking the the most well thought direction possible, we see instead expedient minds at work. This expediency equates with the idea that "Rome was not built in a Day" - and that is the greater authentic expression, because then we are thinking about matters that are long-term, instead of a small matchbox size screen, from which the very essence of our authenticity is being consumed by short-term perspectives and practices. Yet being authentic is not enough nor something we should be encouraging. What we should be encouraging is for all us to be authentically human - in which case authenticity is that of our virtue and not our vices.

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

Being authentic enables one to display their individuality and creativity. But, as you stated the authenticity level varies plus what one thinks is bona fide may be bogus to another. Best to test the water before you dip your toe.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#4
Great comment yours s Roberto De la Cruz Utria. You comment reminds me of the pioneers’ ratio that ranges between 2%-3%. Pioneers go against the tide because of their authenticity in sticking to their big beliefs and dreams without having a great reason to abandon them. Unfortunately, like the examples you correctly cited, political and social pressures along with religious pressures forced many people to abandon their authenticity or pay their bill by sacrificing their lives. We need pioneers who can withstand the huge pressures they are exposed to.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#3
Very true for if a person is out of balance then it is hard to imagine h/s would give a sensible contribution.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#2
Dear Debasish Majumder – I appreciate your comment and sharing of the buzz. We learn from nature. Nature is the mentor and we are the students. The pile of sand that nature builds and collapses is for us to learn, sense, imagine and copy and then modify. Nature isn’t the student of us. The more we learn we learn from nature, the wiser we become. Just imagine the number of products that were emulated from nature. The zipper from the way sugar molecules close in our bodies. From the fractals of nature, to the whistling of wind and the way bacteria digest complex molecules to the biggest underground network between trees and fungi communicate we have the proof that we should keep learning from nature. One pertinent example relevant to this buzz is fractals. Tree leaves are similar, but no leaf is an exact copy of the other. They know better than us how to keep the individual’s authenticity in harmony of the group’s interest.

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

1 year ago #3

Being unorthodox and contrary can be an asset if it’s not a posture fueled by anger or chemical unbalance

Debasish Majumder

Debasish Majumder

1 year ago #2

pile of sands being construed by wind, an external force. equally additional grain is also crafted by the same external force, paving for collapse. group and individual complement each other to thrive as well welcome disaster too. yes, by virtue of our sense organ we can taste whether a honey is sweet and even contain poisonous effect, that is the presence of external world around us. i wonder how nature too possess such sense organ and accordingly stimulate us to work as per nature's wishes! however, excellent buzz sir Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee! enjoyed read and shared. thank you very much for the buzz sir.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

Jerry Fletcher- you are quoted in this post

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