Peer Pressure Doesn’t End in High School

21 Mar, 2016 / by Christina Bowser

In high school did you socialize with the smart kids, the athletes, the band, the artsy ones, or the quiet ones who flew under the radar?

At the time, it seemed so important to fit into a group, small or large. The peer pressure to “fit in” and have a social identity was strong and at times, challenging. More than likely, it was with a group whose style matched your own or whose style you were trying to emulate.

As teenagers we are still discovering who we are. As adults, we may have a clearer view, but peer pressure continues to play a major factor in shaping our perception of who we are and who we want to be. We often absorb the behaviors and attitudes of those we “hang out” with, as in high school, but ultimately we feel most comfortable around those whose style is similar to our own. As adults, we still want to fit in with our DISC style. 

While we may admire the steady, calm demeanor of the co-worker who can always be counted on to be a team player, it doesn’t mean that it’s a style we are comfortable with adapting on a daily basis. Your style may not be the same or may even be the opposite. What if your current workplace environment discourages taking risks, autonomous decision-making, working independently, or collaborative networking? This work environment will be more challenging for the DISC styles that focus more on new ideas, individuality, broad ranged focus, and big changes.

We can make the conscious decision to adjust our style to match the groups, but this is sometimes easier to idealize than to put into practice. Our natural style is what comes easily, usually without energy or effort. It is the behaviors that more than likely come out spontaneously or under pressure situations.

What if that dynamic, new special projects group has a position open up? What if you had the chance to work on a team where the goals are to work independently to find creative and inventive ways to bring in new clients, and be as innovative as possible to retain the existing ones? This would be a great fit for someone who’s style is decisive, competitive, results-focused, and a go-getter, but could be intimidating for that calm and steady co-worker. You should go for it!

Don’t let the peer pressure box you in. We all bring our strengths and areas of development of our style to our jobs. Can you find the position in your workplace that brings out your strengths?

Topics: Blog, News

Christina Bowser

Written by Christina Bowser