There’s Power in a Group: But not in GroupThink

small business coaching, rhapsody strategies, business coach, Trefor Munn-Venn, Business Coach Ottawa, PBCA, Professional Business CoachNothing meaningful is ever accomplished alone. It’s something you’ll hear the Rhapsody team say over and over.

Now, that’s not to say that our individual actions don’t matter. It means that collectively we’re stronger than we are alone, and when we connect with the right people with the right capabilities at the right time, incredible things happen.

The Risk of Groups

While groups can accomplish incredible things, they also present risk. And one of the biggest risks is GroupThink.

We’ve all seen it: meetings where everyone just agrees. Meetings that lack respectful, critical discussion. Meetings that drone on and just seem to reinforce the status quo without asking deeper questions about what we’re doing and why.

Wondering if you’re in the middle of a GroupThink situation? Here are some common symptoms:

  • Direct pressure on one another to adopt the same view
  • Illusion of unanimity
  • Belief in the inherent morality of the group
  • Stereotypes of outsiders
  • Illusion of invulnerability
  • Self-censorship
  • Mind guarding
  • Rationalization

The problem with GroupThink is that if we’re all thinking the same thing, then we’re not really thinking. And that’s a problem

We need to move from GroupThink to Group Think. When we add that single space between the two words, it may not seem significant, but it represents a profound shift.

The question we’re faced with is, “How do I capitalize on all the benefits of the group without falling into GroupThink?”

Many people simply flee the group altogether. We see that in business coaching. Many clients are looking for one-on-one coaching that will help them build their personal capabilities and manage others more effectively. But there’s a powerful option to consider.

A New Approach to Small Business Coaching

When we examine the most successful people in almost any field–whether it’s sports or business–we find that there are two common themes that emerge.

Advisory Board

Successful people surround themselves with others who are on a similar trajectory. People who will really “get” what they’re trying to do. Other leaders who understand their struggles and opportunities, and can provide candid and valuable perspectives that help shape future behaviour.

This is critical in the context of small business coaching because most small business leaders do not have a team on which to draw. There are times when you feel alone and don’t have the insights available that only other business leaders can provide.


Top performers always have coaches. In fact, the more sophisticated the performer the more coaches they tend to have. Those coaches provide honest feedback and help refine the actions of the business leader or athlete so they produce better results.

If you want to dramatically accelerate your performance, consider combining these two key elements. When a small business owner has access to both a certified business coach and a group of business leaders who are on a similar trajectory, the opportunities for improvement are significantly increased.

Group Coaching, Trefor Munn-Venn, Rhapsody Strategies, Ottawa, PBCA, Business Coach, Business CoachingThere’s no GroupThink in this context. Everyone is thinking. They’re asking questions you might not be asking yourself. They’re sharing experiences you’ve never had, to help you see things you’ve never recognized. No longer are you alone and wondering what you’re missing. Instead, you’re with the right people who are asking the right questions.

By now you know you need a different approach. What got you here won’t get you where you want to go. You may have heard about small business coaching and wondered if it was for you. Stop wondering.

The only way to genuinely know is to do it. And doing it with a supportive group of business leaders brings you the power of the Group, without the GroupThink.

Trefor Munn-VennBusiness Coach Ottawa President & CEO of Rhapsody Strategies
“I think we all get in to business to make a difference. We want to do something meaningful. We want to support our communities, our families, or help others.” If I could provide one piece of business advice it would be this: Get clear on why you’re in business. We see a common pattern where people enter their career or launch a company to accomplish something fantastic — to make a real impact on others. But then they lose their way. Or maybe it would be better to say that they lose their why. When you’re clear on why you’re doing things, you have clarity about how to act and what to do. And your market knows what you’re trying to say to them and what you want them to do. It’s transformative when this happens.