They say that we are the sum of the 6 people we spend most of our time with (take a moment to think about that!)
They also say that we are more susceptible to ‘group think’ than we consciously believe we are.
Let’s consider both points.
When I go into organisations, I invariably find that the people I work with broadly fall into two groups. Those who are interested and curious about what it is we are going to do, and those who aren’t. And those who aren’t are typically vocal about it ‘we’ve tried this before, it didn’t work’ type thing. It comes as no surprise to me that these people hang about together too. The ones who are interested and curious I often see together at the coffee machines and the ones who aren’t I generally see at each other’s desks.
If the people we spend most time with are like us (which is highly likely given that we are attracted to people who we perceive to be similar to us) then we are invariably going to succumb to the second point, group think. We will take the view of the group and if everyone else (who don’t forget, we’ve already decided we like) says something to be true then we tend to fall in line. (google ‘group think’ for case studies on this – some rather remarkable examples out there!)
But what if we widened our circle of influence? What if we spent more time with people who are doing things differently? Already achieving the things that we want to achieve? People who are starting out and taking a different approach? What could we possibly learn from surrounding ourselves with these people?
A little like bricks in a wall, where each is simultaneously supporting and being supported.
Who are the bricks in your wall?