Group Dynamics: When Assumptions Run High

Finally, there’s a name for the bizarre dynamic that happens when a group gets together with unanimous desires yet behaves in a way that guarantees failure. I often open any seminar-type event that I teach with this scenario. 

You’re going to one of those dinners. You know, the uptight gatherings with 6, 7, 8, 9 acquaintances. Without question, the entire group wants to have a good time. Nonetheless, because of awkwardness or a lack of intimacy or general dissonance, they tend to all go the same. They are painfully unenjoyable, and everyone gets in their cars at the end of the night wishing it were different. No one wanted to be uptight, but everyone behaved that way based on assumptions that they couldn’t be loose, for example. 

Any outside observer would want to shake these people and say, “Y’all should talk to one another, because this could be easy.”

The name given to these phenomena is Collective Illusions and they are everywhere. Todd Rose’s book by the same name dives into the details, but the losses we suffer in groups when we conform and become complicit to group assumptions cannot be understated. He sums up this danger succinctly when he says, “most of us would rather be fully in sync with our respective groups than true to who we are. As a result, we can easily end up copying others, self-silencing, and even lying about what we truly believe.”

You won’t have to look far to find us all guilty of this. The political arena is maybe the most hot-button and dramatic example of this nationally. What do we do about this, though? Maybe the first best place to start is to notice assumptions. Step 2? Challenge those assumptions.

10/31/22 WOD


Front Rack Reverse Lunges (ea)

Complete 3 rounds for quality of: 

16 Lateral Landmine Lunges
10 Hanging Leg Raises

Then, complete 4 rounds for time:

10 Sandbag Squats (135/100)
8 Devils Presses (40/25)


Push Jerk

Then, complete 3 rounds for quality:

Max Chin Up Iso Hold
10 Rev Grip Barbell Bent Rows
Max Push Ups

Then, complete 2 rounds for time:

60 Double Unders
15 Curtis P’s (95/65)
400m Run