The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Groups and family

Human beings are born into groups: their family. That’s where they start their life experience and learn to become social beings. It is also through groups that they identify their sense of being. Sometimes they’ll even identify themselves with specific groups.

Whenever people learn to know new groups, this historical connection between one’s family and groups plays a central role. When imaging a group they’ll meet, people start with their experience of groups they know best; their families. Most often even taking the roles as they played out in their family as a frame of reference. It’s only when becoming acquainted with the group that they’ll slowly transform the idea they have about it with the reality they are confronted within the group.

This procedure helps people feel safe. By having a reference point they can adapt, they avoid starting with the unknown. They might not know the group they’ll meet, but they know how it could be.

However, this sometimes also means that whenever old patterns or behavior seem to reappear, they’ll use them to associate a person in the given group with their memories.

It also means that some of the expectations towards groups bring back old ideas of authority and care parents provided.

As Eric Berne described it, human beings have a fundamental hunger for structure, for example, the one time can give, but also the one knowing one’s task helps to address. That’s where parents came in, in the past. Their responsibility involved providing structure for their children. The art of parenting involving to provide a structure within which individuality and creativity can flourish.

In a team, providing that structure is the leader’s task.

The challenge remains the one parents have. That is providing a structure within which the team members can develop their creativity and establish their individuality.

Groups and family are distinct. However, it remains useful to keep in mind how old needs and patterns may reappear.


Share this post:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *