Abstract

Hubris is to the individual what groupthink is to the group. While Mainstream OD has been effective in dealing with the negative effects of groupthink, it has not addressed hubris as a dynamic because hubris is an intrapsychic, although highly destructive, phenomenon. A Gestalt perspective is more helpful in dealing with this problem. Hubris grows in the conditions of pure and consistent positive feedback, and is identified by eight symptoms. These symptoms are: the myth of invulnerability; the myth of omnipotence; belief in one's press; seeing oneself as messianic; belief that one is infallible; the interpretation of external dissension as ignorance; having had the experience of being previously misunderstood; and belief that one can empower others. While it is particularly difficult to work with, eight tactics are presented to avoid or deal with hubris.

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