The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Concepts we know without knowing

As groups evolve, they develop habits. The habits then transform themselves into a group culture. Members of such a group will have ways to act, dress, or relate to one another that they’ll recognize without thinking much about them.

Often, they will not even notice them. In other groups they might notice that things are different, and coming back to a group they know well, they’ll have a sense of coming home or knowing how things are done around there. It’s as if they could step back into a role they know how to play.

That is how it becomes easy for people in a group to be polite or respect one another. But that is also how it becomes difficult to describe what politeness or respect means.

People rarely feel that they must think about it. They have the assumption that everyone knows.

However, when it comes to leading others, these questions become important.

Knowing the behavior that is desired and keeping track of how people relate to one another in an organization shapes that organization in relevant ways. It tells people what is right and what is wrong. They’ll take the behaviors they see as the blueprint of how they may act. But they will also introduce the principles they learned into the group thus transforming the culture as much as others let it happen.

Becoming aware of one’s behavior isn’t easy.

But, reflecting on one’s ethics and how they have been shaped by one’s upbringing provides a way to reverse engineer one’s perceptions of politeness, respect, and habits to relate with one another.

It gives visibility on what we perceive as right and wrong and helps to know how to communicate it.


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