We all belong to clusters of people with something in common: values, beliefs, aims, norms of behavior, and more. We could call these clusters “tribes,” and in fact, we belong to lots of them—families, friendship groups, workplaces, supporters of teams, members of on-line groups, and many more. Some exist in our face-to-face world, others are less tangible but just as real.
The need to belong is part of our human wiring—a deep-seated brain function. Prehistorically, if we didn’t belong to a group, we wouldn’t survive.
People behave in particular ways because they want to belong. They want to fit in. In fact, some also want to define themselves as against something else—some other tribe. That’s psychologically comfortable, if not very resourceful.
Here’s the thing…
In many situations, tribal behavior will be a powerful force, quite likely much more powerful than the explicit authority structures.
Tread warily when intervening. If you don’t understand the tribes in the game and the tribal behavior at work, you’re heading for a rough time. Take note of it and use it for good effect and you will harness a powerful force.
What unnoticed tribal behavior might be influencing your world?