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To a considerable extent those who push products and services welcome conformity. It means that if you can tailor your message correctly it will strike a large number of people.

As individuals in an individualistic age, however, many of us resist conformity, aiming to stand out, be different, do our own thing.The truth is, as ever, that most of us compromise and try to strike a balance: standing out in those areas where we feel confident or principles are at stake, yet fitting in where we don’t want to be the centre of attention or to rock the boat.

At the Tavistock, Elliott Jaques discerned these two polar atttitudes and named them as positions within the large group: standing out he called an Individual Member and the second, where fitting in was more desirable, Membership Individuals. Each one of us travels along the dimension between these two positions, sometimes sticking our heads out, but often keeping our eyes unfocused and straight ahead, hoping we will not be singled out.

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As a psychologist, psychotherapist and research practitioner of 40 years, I've had the benefit of the experiences of more than 100,000 people around the world. They've talked about their daily lives, hopes, fears, ambitions and needs. These experiences have helped me to contribute to innovations from Beds in Business and the Fast Track for airlines to television drama and online communities. Specialties:Large groups, facilitation, application of psychological theories to commercial issues