It’s a pretty famous phrase, isn’t it, peer pressure?
We don’t need the best memory in the world to remember all the school programmes when we were younger, all the books and talk about peer pressure.
Stay away from peer pressure. Peer pressure is this, peer pressure is that.
As adults, a lot of us think we’re past that. It speaks to kids, we say. We might be dead wrong.
Breaking the Myth: Peer Pressure Does Exist in Adults
The effects of peer pressure aren’t confined to adolescents alone. As adults we are hardly immune to the influence of our perceived peers, no matter how much we might want to praise our maturity and sense of self.
Don’t believe me? Just watch this video.
About two-thirds of any group, regardless of age, gender or background, go along with the popular sentiment. Why? Simply because it’s the popular sentiment!
Social influence from our peers is a potent power, and it drives us into a whole lot.
Here’s how this affects our business lives.
Peer Pressure in Business: Negatives and Positives
When people face peer pressure in business, it can erode their innovation.
They don’t want to be judged, mocked, called foolish or seen as inadequate if they get things wrong, so they find it difficult to try out different ways of handling tasks, even if they are certain that their ideas are workable.
Besides, peer pressure can also lead to FOMO – the fear of missing out.
This can lead to people being unstable in business. They jump from one business to the other or from one business model to another with only surface-level knowledge or even effort in each.
People are doing this, so I’ll try it out. Great, I’m in. Oh, now it looks like more people are doing this instead; I need to join in now or else I might miss out on the cash!
Influence from people around you can lead you into thinking that you should be in business because others are – especially when you see them succeeding – so you jump into it with inadequate or little planning.
That hardly ever turns out all right.
A lot of people have failed in business because they started before they were mature enough in terms of their skill set, experience and other core requirements. They only saw others around them starting, and they felt like doing so too.
Having said that, there are no doubt some positives that come from social group influence.
One of these is competitiveness. When you face pressure from contemporaries, it can unleash your competitive nature as a human, which can bring motivation. It can drive your business approach and push you to keep improving on core business values as well as your business model.
Moreover, peer group influence can help you improve your own personal qualities as a professional. Group monitoring can equally be a powerful source of motivation as well as an incentive to do the right thing.
This incentive is even more powerful than financial incentives. People don’t want their peers to see them as inadequate, so they will continually work hard to match up, to meet the required standard. John Lewis in particular has adopted this with very positive results.
How to Use Peer Pressure to Your Advantage in Business
Focus on the positives
While working, understand that peer pressure is only normal – and natural. As a matter of fact, denying it might only end up increasing the effects on you.
When you are conscious of the power of social influence, you can make a deliberate decision to focus on reaping the positive rewards.
You use the influence and the drive to compete that comes with it to enhance your business values, work ethic, business model and professional capacity.
Remember it’s not just the business, it’s the attitude
It’s not just being in business that brings success. It’s the attitude to business.
Whichever field you’re in, you can succeed there as long as you are working with the right system and putting in the conscious effort that every successful business necessarily requires.
Remember that and you will not succumb to the fear of missing out.
Develop yourself as a professional
Lastly, to be successful in your career there are certain qualities you must embody: hard work, competence, knowledge, integrity, emotional Intelligence etc.
These are the necessary qualities of a successful career person.
So, work on yourself. Strive to improve every day. And more importantly, learn from your peers.
You’re worried that they’ll see you get it wrong. Let that worry drive you into getting it right.