How group membership is created
Watch this at an event: As soon as several people come together, they will immediately form a group. Within a group, there are different roles: Loud, Silent, Spokesman, Counterparty, Advocate, and Neutral. This can also lead to internal scramble. But when another group appears, each group is formed as a unit. And immediately an exploratory process begins: friend or foe?
The rules of the game are always the same, and they generally sound like this: “Help the people in your group! Stand up for them! Be proud of them! Talk well about them! Be loyal! ” One delimits oneself from the outside, which is often associated with aggression towards other cohorts. But internally, you stand for each other.
And as long as no one intervenes from above, social control over the group takes place. The collective is the corrective. And reputation is the value date. Anyone who leaves the group is punished with defamation. It is made "small" so that the loss is not so painful. The more exclusive the group, the more complex the entry ritual. And the means by which “nest polluters” and “traitors” are ostracized in sworn communities is sometimes brutal.
Being a member of a community is important to us
Being accepted in a protective community is fundamental to us. Single-handedly farewell to a group were once often paid for with life. To be kicked out is the worst thing that can happen to us. The most unhappy people are those of whom nobody wants something that is not in demand and is not needed.
Being a valuable and respected member of a group: that gives us security and security. Alone we are weak, together we are strong. Social isolation is one of the worst penalties. It makes us aggressive - or depressive. It leads to a lowering of the serenity hormone serotonin and finally to a collapse of cerebral functions. Infants die of it.
Of course, security in a network also has its price: adaptation to the values of the group as well as compromises in terms of self-determination and autonomy. "On Facebook, Google and Co. you can see how far people restrict their freedom to be part of a community," wrote psychologist Ines Imdahl in "Advertising on the Couch".
Into the brain looked: how connectedness arises
Connectedness arises through affection and common action. These processes are accompanied by a body-borne messenger called oxytocin. Oxytocin, which is also called "cuddle hormone", increases our happiness and pleasure potential. It is neurochemical balm for our soul. It is relaxing and health-promoting. It is increasingly spilled when a meeting is to be held which is to initiate firm bonds.
It increases the willingness to trust. At the same time, it stabilizes the relationships that led to its distribution. So it rewards positive social contacts and sociability. That's why we look forward to seeing good friends, pleasant colleagues and a valued leader - and they look forward to seeing us.
Man: more altruist than egoist
It is a superstition that people are selfish and are only interested in their own well-being. It got a big boost when Richard Dawkin's book “The Selfish Gene” gained world fame in 1976. But in recent years, more and more neurobiological studies have been published that discovered the predominantly altruistic nature in us. We are talking about the “social brain”.
The sum of the findings: We are not primarily oriented towards egoism and competition, but to attention and successful interpersonal relations. When we cooperate, the reward system jumps in our brain. And that is not only fun, it can also bring us to peak performance.
A study: Community against Wallstreet
How high-performance teams arise? The environment plays an important role here. As the Harvard Business Manager reported, the social psychologist Lee Ross from Stanford University conducted an experiment with two groups of the same group.
He explained to one group that they were playing the “Community Game”, a game designed for the common good. The other group were told to play the “Wall Street Game” in which selfishness would be rewarded. In truth, however, it was the same game, only with different names.
In the community game seventy percent of all participants played cooperatively from beginning to end. In the Wall Street Game, on the other hand, seventy percent of all players did not work together. Thus the definition of the game affected only forty percent of the participants. Even players, who initially looked selfish, were able to co-operate in the cooperative game.
Win-win: favor collaboration and celebrate victories
In times of excessive complexity, it is no longer possible to solve all problems on your own. Those who rely on internal competition are wasting a large part of the potential that can arise through cooperation, as the study shows. Ergo: Developing the “we” and celebrating shared victories counts more than heroizing individual successes.
By the latter a few win, but a large part of the fellow players are made to losers. And where losers are, there are also misery and envy. Wickedness, intrigue, and murder are a thing of the past. Even the company as a whole will leave feathers. Whoever plays against each other will at the decisive moment refuse the help of the opponent - and prefer to keep his ideas to himself. Productivity deficits on a broad scale are the result.
The ingredients for a perfect we feel
What are the essential ingredients for a perfect we-feeling? Regardless of the working model in which a worker moves, it is the:
- Successes that can be celebrated
- visible signs of belonging,
- Rituals that weld together,
- Stories, myths, legends,
- Perception by the public.
Probably nothing motivates in the long run so much as being part of a visibly successful community. To offer successful Company not only identification potential, they also serve self-enhancement. It seems to be much more important to men than women to make their affiliation publicly visible.
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