Sunflower bias and how it works against good decision making.
If you ever see a field of sunflowers, you’ll notice that all of the flowers are facing the same direction. As the sun moves, so do they.
It’s the same in meetings. Some people – lots of people – follow the leader. They say what they think the leader expects them to say. They agree with the leader almost all of the time.
The reasons are varied. Some people simply want to curry favour with the leader. Others are afraid to speak out for fear of something – retribution, ridicule, humiliation – there are lots of reasons.
A meeting leader who is aware and has good EQ, will notice this and actively encourage it not to happen. The toxic leaders and the bullies (sadly they are common) either don’t notice or ignore it and sometimes even encourage it. They completely miss harnessing the skill and wisdom and knowledge in the room.
The end result is poor decisions and poor collaboration.