Tuesday, December 13, 2016,
SSWAC (Alumni Center) - Parker Reed Room

arrows-1426326_1920Location: SSWAC (Alumni Center) Parker Reed Room

Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Time: 3pm – 4:30pm

Audience: All Staff & Supervisors

Has fear led you to say “yes” to a proposed group endeavor when “no” was your true response?

Learn how to prevent false consensus among your team or peers and improve your group interactions and decisions.

Keep your team from “goin’ to Abilene!”abilene_paradox

Several years ago, Professor Jerry B. Harvey’s research showed him that the fundamental problem of contemporary organizations is not conflict, but rather the inability to cope with agreement. He found that most agreement in teams is actually, false consensus. This occurs because many people feel that they’ll be ridiculed or censured if they voice objections. This often leads groups to act on inappropriate goals and sets them up for organizational failure.

Travel the road to Abilene and arrive at a place where deeply held, logical values fall victim to group dynamics. It’s a bumpy ride culminating in meaningless outcomes and blame, but you can skip the trip if you know how to read the road signs.

This parable offers a compelling lesson for groups: Make sure you’ve received everyone’s honest input on the action you’re about to take.

Using segments from the film “Abilene Paradox,” this 1.5-hour workshop will

  • Explore the psychological principles of ‘The Abilene Paradox’ and how to avoid false consensus
  • Discuss ways to achieve effective decision-making within a group.


Jim Sloat, Associate Provost and Dean of Faculty

Melissa Breger, Assistant Director for Talent Development

Due to room size and logistics, registration is requested.

Private event