We know that understanding Personality Types (like Myers-Briggs) helps us to understand ourselves and each other better. In much the same way, understanding Culture Types also helps us understand ourselves and others better. The difference being the focus of group dynamics rather that individual.
For years the disciplines of Sociology, Physiology, Anthropology, and Theology have identified three culture types – Guilt/Innocent, Honor/Shame, and Fear/Power. These titles are based on how a culture responds to wrong doing but what we understand about how these effect a group, community, or culture is far more expansive. Guilt/Innocent cultures are individualistic or autonomous in nature (If you fail, you fail), Honor/Shame cultures are group or community in nature (If you fail, we all failed), and Fear/Power cultures are tribal in nature (If you fail, you’ve done something wrong elsewhere). All three of these exist in every world culture, the one that is dominant is what is used to identify what culture type we are in. Most of the world is Honor/Shame while Western cultures are Guilt/Innocent.
For decades we (America) have been so dominantly Guilt/Innocent that we had lost almost all sense of Honor/Shame or Fear/Power. However, we are now seeing a rise in the Honor/Shame element amongst the young generations (30 yrs old and younger). This is creating a stronger need for “Community”. Community being defined as “a group, regardless of size, that provides a sense of belonging, purpose, and identity. I believe this is because of the ever shrinking world we live in and the Community of Cultures that has been created. With a stronger sense of Honor/Shame we are seeing that having a community that provides each other a feeling of Honor (belonging) is stronger and more important than the individual success one may be able to achieve. There is still a desire for success but it must be of benefit to the success of the community as well.
As leaders it is even more important today to understand the significance of Community and how we might create authentic community within the work place. Because, having a place of belonging, purpose, and identity will bring more loyalty and commitment.