Rampant Conformity and You!
When we review behaviours and reactions at work, over 80% of people’s immediate reaction is to conform in some way – to fit, to impress, to change, to mould. 20% generally rebel. They’ll switch in or out as a result.
A SMALL minority will use their natural rebellion to make changes and make a difference. This takes courage, but is often successful.
Which camp do you sit in?
In January this year I decided to take a year’s break from Facebook to see what it felt like. I got fed up with glossy stories of amazing lives when I knew that the reality for many was the normal ups and downs. It had become false. Sometimes boring. And for me, a little frustrating. And yet also strangely addictive. So I stopped. Interestingly some of my habit of Facebook has converted to Linked In. I generally like it because it’s great for business and I get to see what many of you are up to 😊.
But how boring it’s getting! Not the stories about you – these are great, but aside from really personal posts and innovative job adverts, the amount of totally boring, conforming nothingness that people post is incredible. A recent Thought Leadership study from Edelman and Linked In (Jan 2017) reported that sharing thought leadership posts influences business to business sales (e.g. us sharing this blog on Linked In, you liking and sharing it 😊), but that decision-makers said that most of the time (56 percent) they do not gain valuable insights from the thought leadership that they consume.
I am not surprised. I cannot recall the last time – honestly apart from our blogs – that I was inspired by a written thought leadership post on Linked In. I loved the purple shirts in Sydney last week – YES YES YES – campaigning for equality! For open-mindedness! For difference! I was so inspired that I wore purple that day too!
Sydney Town Hall on ‘wear it purple day’ 2017
to celebrate & support LGBTI.
Another example – this week Liz Mortley in our UK team read a headline about a start-up founded by two women who invented a male co-founder to avoid industry sexism and be more accepted (according to The Times 88% of all British patent applications come from male inventors).
So, what’s the challenge with sticking your neck out? What makes us temper our posts to look good and blend? A contact this morning shared with me that she feels that people are constantly feeling judged and on ‘permanent interview test’. It seems that everyone is always trying to look good. And that to do this most of us conform. The result. Blandness. Stale culture. When will we realise that being ourselves is far more interesting? And far more inspiring.
Are you contributing to a stale work place culture by reading, liking and sharing boring outdated posts? If so, what are you conforming for? Where else do you conform? What stops you from sharing and saying what you really think? What’s the worst that could happen if you really stretched your expression?
Sometimes it takes a shock, an awakening, to wake up conviction.
What if this post is yours?