What is the phenomenon of groupthink in hair and beauty salons? How does diversity help teams and what does it enhance? How can hairdressers and institutes be helped by them and stand out?

The answers are there, as are the ways to understand and manage them to your advantage. But before we get into the ways you can enhance your hair salon or beauty salon, let’s start with the basic terminology and concepts.


What is groupthink?

Groupthink is a phenomenon that occurs when a group of individuals reaches a consensus without critical reasoning or evaluation of the consequences or alternatives. Groupthink is based on a common desire not to upset the balance of a group of people. This desire creates a dynamic within a group whereby creativity and individuality tend to be stifled in order to avoid conflict.


When was the term diagnosed and why?

The term groupthink in its modern sense was coined by Yale psychologist Irving Janis in 1971, writing in the pages of Psychology Today. Janis proposed the word as a label to diagnose a previously unknown malady he saw as interfering with people’s ability to make good decisions in a group setting.


What is diversity management?

Diversity management refers to organizational actions that aim to promote greater inclusion of employees from different backgrounds into an organization’s structure through specific policies and programs. Organizations are adopting diversity management strategies as a response to the growing need to increase innovation and productivity.


When does the phenomenon of groupthink appear in a beauty salon?

Harmony is seductive and getting along feels good, so everyone wants to seem like a team player. As a result, each individual works hard to make their own opinion conform to what they believe is the consensus of the group. The satisfaction of belonging to a cohesive group leads people to suppress their inner doubts. Loud voices overpower quieter ones, dissent is quashed, and the outcome is flawed, sometimes disastrous decisions.


Why does groupthink happen in salons?

Groupthink in salons, as in any business, is a bias that afflicts groups. It operates not as a consciously held belief, but as an invisible pressure to conform that arises spontaneously in the moment, affecting people’s judgment without their even knowing they’re being affected. Groupthink, in other words, is an unconscious bias — and that’s what makes it so dangerous. Any team that makes decisions as a group is vulnerable to groupthink. Fortunately, there is an antidote: It’s called diversity.


How can diversity help decrease groupthink in salons?

Studies show that diverse teams are smarter consistently outperforming homogeneous teams, especially on tasks that are creative, nonlinear, or complex. That’s because being part of a group that’s getting along feels pleasurable. When you’re in a homogeneous group and spirits are high, you’re not going to feel like turning to the person next to you and telling them they’re wrong. It feels more important to keep the momentum going. That is why diversity is a form of treatment or remedy for the groupthink phenomenon that occurs in salons.


Why are diverse teams smarter?

That’s where diversity comes in. Diverse teams are smarter precisely because they feel more uncomfortable. When you bring dissimilar people together, it upsets the equilibrium, and can even cause friction and tension. But that discomfort is what prevents the group from lapsing into an unreasoning consensus. Instead, the group assesses information more carefully and makes smarter, more balanced decisions. In the end, diversity can make getting along more difficult — and that’s exactly why it’s so helpful.


What about my existing beauty salon team?

If the dynamics in your existing team are intense and there is a lot of conflict, consider it good material to work with. The effort you need to put in is to create a communication flow that includes respect and inclusion.

If the dynamics in your existing team are harmonious then it might be a good idea to mix the group up a bit by adding people who have a diversified way of thinking.


In a diverse team inclusion is key.

While diversity is the representation of differences, inclusion refers to the utilization of that diversity within organizational efforts. For everyone to bring their best forward, a sense of belonging must first be established. Having a connection to an organization or group of people that makes you feel you can be yourself not only results in greater engagement and creativity in the workplace it’s a psychological need.


Strong leadership enables diversity and inclusion.

Diversity and inclusion are often treated as theories. But for real change to happen, every individual leader needs to buy into the value of belonging, both intellectually and emotionally.

So if you have detect this phenomenon in your hair salon or institute, remember that remodeling your team is the key. At Salon Proactive we can formulate a strategic development and training program to create the business of your dreams.


Contact us at salonproactive.com to create an ideal diversity and inclusion program for your beauty salon.