Wired to get along

In his book Brain Rules, John Medina explains how humans evolved to get along with each other.

Human babies cannot survive on their own for many years after birth and cannot reproduce for well over a decade, so adults need to survive long enough to see their children pass the genes on. For most of our existence, the only way for an adult to survive was to be part of a tribe large enough to provide food and protection to its members.

Only recently has it become possible for grownups to survive on their own. Still, without family and friends and colleagues, their quality of life is questionable. The technologies that have allowed humans to leave the tribe have evolved faster than our survival instincts. We still long to fit in, to be appreciated, to give, to have a tribe.

Perhaps evolution will eliminate this longing over the millenia. But for now, we can take comfort in the fact that we are wired to get along. As E&C professionals, we deal with more deviant behaviors than most, and that can distort of view of the world. It’s worth reminding ourselves that almost everyone we know is kind and eager to do the right thing, for their benefit and for the group’s. Let’s keep those beautiful souls in mind when we create our policies, training, controls and other programs.

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