Can’t speak your mind because of the herd?

If everyone else is going along with it, how do you speak your mind?

We were at Beamish watching nineteen geese being herded by one nearsighted dog. What would the dog do if two of the geese flew in different directions? Or even if the geese just all sat down? But they didn’t–the dog simply herded them up and down the field and into the pen. You wouldn’t think people would be that daft…or would you?

The effect of peer pressure

The BS Guys did a series of experiments re-enacting the Emperor’s New Clothes (no naked monarchs, just an obviously wrong answer given by the first seven people resulting in nearly everyone else giving the wrong answer. The video shows the experiment with teenagers, who are notoriously vulnerable to peer pressure. However, they repeated the experiment with various different groups and ages gave the same results. No one felt able to speak their mind, despite

It can be hard to voice your opinion when everyone else seems to think differently. Fear of embarrassment, fear of social backlash or a lack of confidence may be the cause. So what can you do?

Some tips if you want to speak your mind

  1. Keep the outcome you want clear in your head. What is most important?
  2. Keep calm–watch this space for how to control your flight or fight response.
  3. Don’t jump to conclusions, remove the blame. You may not have all the information.
  4. Ask respectfully for clarification
  5. Listen to the other side.
  6. Speak so that the other person will want to listen.

Helping people to communicate effectively to maintain and repair relationships is something I’m passionate about. So if you need help or just want to learn more, get in touch!