Commentary 2

The Power of Socialization

I have learned that success can be fostered by spending time understanding the power of Expectations and Socialization.  Having focused on ‘The Power of Expectations’ in last month’s Polaris Digest, I thought it only appropriate to finish that thought with ‘The Power of Socialization’ this time around.

Defining the term Socialization is challenging, this is because of the wide range of uses for the term Socialization.  It can be applied to philosophical views, community growth, government stability and the act of "hanging out with your buddies”.  Here is a great definition of Socialization as defined on Wikipedia.

Socialization is a term used by sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists, politicians and educationalists to refer to the process of inheriting norms, customs and ideologies. It may provide the individual with the skills and habits necessary for participating within their own society; a society develops a culture through a plurality of shared norms, customs, values, traditions, social roles, symbols and languages. Socialization is thus ‘the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained’

Look now at the impact that Socialization has had on our culture. We now see trends like social media (facebook, twitter and linked IN to name a few) open communities of innovation and source projects, all embodying the core value of Socialization but with new and unique impacts.  All of this business is now keen to take advantage of to drive growth and build culture.  Discussing the business impact this has would be an article on its own…but back to how this has impacted me over the last few years.

I found that setting expectations was only part of the process, like setting goals, it’s one thing to set them, it’s an entirely different thing to make them come to life.  Just as socialization provides an individual with the skills and habits necessary for participating within their own society, socialization can help an idea or goal gain momentum, gain perspective, and help them grow and change into something that transforms the individual and impacts those around you as well.

Let’s take a look at how Socialization has helped us during our own personal growth through Polaris.  If you remember all the critical documents we discussed in the "Power of Expectations” article, what helped grow these original ideas into a philosophy and action plan was the socialization we did with peers, with our boss, our net cell group at Polaris and our coaches.  The process of sharing what you are doing and that initial response is what helped give these things life.  And as we know, these philosophies, action plans and covenants never stop growing and changing and the more we socialize these beliefs, the more they will evolve based on the very principle of socialization.

Don’t wait for your thoughts, ideas, plans and goals to be perfect before sharing them with the world; by then it will be too late for you to execute them or they may have already changed.  Share early, share often and make sure you truly listen to the feedback you get when you do share.  Take with you what makes sense and move forward.

We have only been through seven workouts, but already we see a variety of tools at our disposal to advance our socialization skills. Check out this Tool chart outlining what we have learned so far and what we can draw upon to increase our personal success.

Note: Each "Tool” mentioned has a number in brackets that outlines the workout where it was covered  for your reference.