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The Toxic Team: Weaponized democracy

I remember when I worked once in a team that somehow weaponized democracy, i.e. used the group consensus as the ultimate way to squish different points of view.

This toxic behavior is not obvious at first, since it seems innocent, being the way it's supposed to work in teams. Yet while consensus via democracy is a good solution in discussions having consequences for the whole team, it's very dangerous outside of that use case.

Imagine a group of people deciding that one shouldn't be interested in specific thing, or shouldn't eat this or that. That's the weaponized democracy at work: you don't fit into the majority, so that means you're against us! It's a nightmare for any nonconformist out there, because suddenly having one's own opinion is an offense: be like everyone else, or be the enemy.

Tackling such situation can be very challenging, depending on how rooted it is in the mindset of the team: having open mind, and voicing different opinions in an approachable way is definitely one good way to go.

In whichever situation you find yourself, remember that different perspectives and experience can positively enrich your life, and kindness goes a long way!