The poor, lonely devil.

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When a group of people make a decision based on an overriding desire for quick and easy consensus, they are committing groupthink. Defined more thoroughly by WikiPedia (Group Think), groupthink is a common human error in which conflict, objective analysis and ultimately rationality are sacrificed in order to preserve the harmony of the group. In more concrete terms, opinions are voiced only if they agree with the opinions of others while criticism is toned-down or not voiced at all. This, naturally, leads to very hasty decisions and very bad mistakes. (Wikipedia cites the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Challenger disaster as two particularly bad results of groupthink.)

Groupthink can be avoided by two simple things: Precaution and bravery. Be aware of the dangers of groupthink and set discussion rules to keep it at bay. Be the DevilsAdvocate. Pushing group members to confront uncomfortable realities. There's a challenge, of course, in keeping the discussion from degenerating into chaos. Each member of the group must be brave in order to both stab at the truth and to withstand having their own truths stabbed.

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