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The Polarization Problem: What to Do When You’ve Reached a Stalemate

Summary: When big decisions need to be made in an organization, it's not uncommon for differing opinions to emerge. Teams of like-minded individuals form to express their opinions, and this can cause discontent with everyone involved. However, there are ways to overcome the divide of opinions and unite everyone with the common cause of finding a solution or making the big decision. Getting all members of the team involved in brainstorming options, thinking through the pros and cons, and making sure everyone is accountable is a method to reduce polarization in a team or organization. The tasks of brainstorming and exploring the alternatives is often enough to shed light on unknown variables, which can be a big cause of disagreement. When the outcomes are clearer for everyone, opinions can sway and reaching a compromise becomes easier.

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  • Topics: Teams
  • Keywords: Teams, Decision making, Brainstorming, Alternative approaches, Creativity
  • Author: Setili, Amanda
  • Journal: Journal for Quality and Participation