Comment on your classmate’s posts as a follow-up to the discussion
A: Abilene paradox
This was a very interesting concept and it was something that I never heard of before, but it is something that everybody has experienced in our lives. As I was watching the video I was trying to think back to times when I faced the Abilene Paradox. I struggle with this first question when thinking about a time professionally when I faced the Abilene Paradox because I never worked for a company or business that puts us in teams for a project. I’ve only ever worked in a dance studio where I was a contract worker and then for restaurants. I am having a harder time relating to it professionally. I think the best way to relate to it is when I was teaching dance and I was teaching a class that was going to be in a showpiece. The owner had a vision for my piece and the direction she wanted me to go. I personally didn’t agree with that direction and wanted to explore a more creative way to tell the story, but in order to make her happy, I had to be less creative and do what her vision was. I was having to choreograph to someone else’s vision and I wasn’t as happy with it, so it wasn’t as creative and unique to me when the final product came out. I do wish I voiced my opinion more and was able to find a middle ground where the story was still being told, but I would be allowed a little more freedom.
When I think about the Abilene Paradox in my personal life there are many different options I could choose from. Going to a dinner that I wasn’t a fan of, but didn’t want to hurt the person’s feelings and went along with it and didn’t have a great time. Or going to see a movie that I didn’t really have any interest in seeing, but I thought my friend really wanted to see it. It ended up not being a good movie and we both left feeling like we could’ve done something better with our time than going to see this bad movie. I think the best way to stop the Abilene Paradox from happening is to create an environment where employees can be honest and open about the work they are doing and if it is benefiting the company. “When it comes to your workplace safety issues, it is critical that all parties express honest and credible opinions before decisions are made. Make no assumptions as to what others think- they might just have the same reservations that you do but were hesitant to speak up. When those in charge actually listen to everyone rather than just sail full steam ahead, there are bound to be better decisions made” (Klatt). If that culture is created from the start employees will feel comfortable voicing their opinions without the worry of losing their jobs.
B: Characteristics of an effective team
I think the best example I can give that describes an effective team is a job I have now at a restaurant. I think the team is a very effective team and the management is willing to help with anything and motivates the employees to continue to do a good job. I think an effective team is when employees are motivated, happy and excited to be working there. Whether they are excited to be working there because of the people, or because they are going to make money is the key to an effective team. Also, the staff is hardworking and everyone knows their job. The great part about the restaurant is that everyone knows their roles and what they are supposed to be doing. If everyone sticks to their roles then the restaurant will run smoothly and employees and customers will be happy. The host stand needs to make sure that we get our customers to their table in a timely manner and make sure they are happy, then the servers need to make sure that the guest is being treated and the food runner needs to make sure that he/she brings them their food in a timely manner, the kitchen needs to make sure they cook their food extremely well and everything is prepared for the food runner to bring it out. The busser needs to make sure to clean the table so customers aren’t always around dirty plates. There are many parts to the restaurant, but these are a few and if everyone understands their roles then the restaurant will run smoothly.
Klatt, R. (2021, February 10). Workplace safety. The Abilene Paradox – Have you ever been on the Road to Abilene? Retrieved April 13, 2022, from https://www.memic.com/workplace-safety/safety-net-blog/2021/february/the-abilene-paradox—have-you-ever-been-on-the-road-to-abilene
A: Abilene Paradox
I didn’t know there was a paradox that describes my entire life but I believe that I have found it. I am always one to sacrifice my own happiness to ensure that others are pleased and everyone gets along. I chalked this up to my slight fear of confrontation but it appears that many others experience the same issue: so much so that there is a paradox known. The most recent example that I can think of in my professional life is the activity for after my company’s most recent training. I didn’t really want to partake in the activity as it didn’t seem like something I was particularly enjoy. However, I went because I didn’t want others to be upset with my for not going. A common example that I see in my private life is agreeing to eat dinner at a restaurant that I don’t really like just because my group of friends does. A way to stop the Abilene Paradox from happening in a workplace is to encourage people not to agree to something just because others are. As one article states, “if at least one person speaks up in the right way, there is a good chance at avoiding the Abilene paradox and a dysfunctional outcome” (Sussex Publishers).
B: Characteristics of an Effective Team
According to Stanford University, there are eleven characteristics of an effective team:
- Clear unity of purpose
- Self-Conscious about own operations
- Set clear and demanding performance goals
- Informal, comfortable, and relaxed atmosphere
- A lot of discussion that most everyone participates in
- People are free to express their feelings and ideas
- Disagreement is viewed as good
- “Most decisions are made at a point where there is general agreement”
- Each individual carries their own weight
- “Criticism is frequent, frank, and relatively comfortable”
- Leadership shifts from time to time (“Characteristics of Effective Teams”)
Based upon these characteristics, I believe the most effective group that I have ever worked in is the one that I am currently in. There is only one characteristic that cannot describe the group: Leadership shifts from time to time. Other than turnover in supervising/directing positions, there is not any shifting in leadership. However, this seems to work for us thus far.
Characteristics of effective teams. Stanford.edu. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2022, from https://web.stanford.edu/class/e145/2007_fall/materials/collins_effective_teams.html
Sussex Publishers. (n.d.). The abilene paradox: Why people go along to get along. Psychology Today. Retrieved April 13, 2022, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/machiavellians-gulling-the-rubes/202007/the-abilene-paradox-why-people-go-along-get-along