A look at both sides of the tribal group mentality
I often use the term ‘tribe’ in business, and encourage micro, and small business owners to find their tribe, there is something very comforting surrounding yourself with people who share your values, beliefs, attitudes and rituals. I also know from a business development perspective that our unconscious behaviour as buyers is hugely influenced by these things when we are looking for suppliers, especially if what we are looking at requires a relationship that enables us to work in partnership.
We are very social creatures, who are drawn to our tribes by a strong desire to belong, which is driven by the need we have for compassion and communication.
Belonging is one of the four B’s that we use to measure the quality of our lives;
When we have the four B’s we feel appreciated, respected, cared for as members of a group or tribe, and therefore safe. So that sense of belonging contributes hugely to our sense of well-being. One of the reasons why loneliness can lead to mental illness.
Our tribes or groups that we are part of range from family, friends, clubs, teams, co-workers and colleagues. We might have shared the same education and have the same qualifications. We tend to share the same language, values, desires, beliefs and attitudes. For some as they progress through life, they find themselves part of a number of tribes, through work, sport, hobbies and so on, and they start to develop the skill of transcending different groups, even when the values and beliefs aren’t the same or even similar.
So, the benefits of being part of a tribe or group are clear, it ensures our survival, helps us establish common ground enabling us to successfully meet the challenges we face. The value of this translates into business as well.
There is a negative side that we all need to have an awareness of, and make sure we don’t fall into the trap. Tribal, or group, mentality can and does indoctrinate individuals into the tribe’s, beliefs. The more we are surrounded by others who share our beliefs, the more unshakably and extreme those beliefs can become. This makes certain everybody thinks the same, which creates a structure of beliefs that is agreed upon and maintained. For many, this is often something they are born into, rather than a conscious decision. It is easy to get drawn into the social prejudices held by a group, which can then allow them to hold harsh judgemental positions, attitudes and beliefs about other groups or tribes.
Those who are successful in business and in life have developed the ability to transcend tribal/group conformity. They are able to excel in communication and develop strong relationships. They have the courage to be different, and challenge the status quo. They are innovative and creative thinkers who are able to solve problems and are constantly learning and growing from the insights they gain from an opposing view.
These are the people who thrive in business and life, they leave nothing to chance but keep working on their personal development. These are the people we, as buyers are naturally drawn toward.