Bringing Tribal Empowerment to Workplace Teams

[ad_1] What has a tribe in the furthest reaches of the Amazon jungle and a team of professionals in a CBD office got in common?

Not much on the face of it, but the deeper we go the more we see the human connections that apply to both. Groups of people anywhere have to find ways of working best together – whether that is for a hunt to be successful or for team and organisational targets to be met.

Every person in the workplace, and outside of it (think families, clubs, sports teams, schools and so on), is a member of at least one ‘tribe’ where they need to work together with other people for the common benefit.

It is reasonable to suppose that each of these ‘indigenous’ settings must share some common requirements that go towards our tribes being successful. So what are they?

Needs within the Tribe

The recent findings of neuroscience, notably from work between the Neuropower Group and the University of California, have led to the identification of six requirements that are common to individuals within teams, and can be considered the ‘drivers’ or ‘motivators’ of successful performance in team environments.

These are essentially ‘needs’ that sit behind human behaviour and, when present, lead to better outcomes in terms of performance and satisfaction levels.

A brief summary of each of these follows:


This covers the brain’s need to be a valued member of a human group and to relate to other members in it. In tribal psychology, implicit cultural values, beliefs, attitudes, taboos, punishment and rewards, are all embedded in each child early on. Relatedness brings feelings of safety and cohesion. It is driven by our personal values, and relates to the rules that we were taught as children, symbolising the part of our mind that thinks as a member of the collective-our team, family or tribe – but is often outside of our conscious awareness.


This is the brain’s need to understand and express all emotions. It helps us remember what happens to us emotionally so that…

Sourced from by Mark R Stephens

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