Belonging Cues

Belonging cues are a powerful tool that very few use consciously.

Basically, they are signals that we send to others to inform them whether we think they are part of our tribe (team, group, community).

A part of our brain (the amygdala) is constantly examining our surrounding environment to determine if we are safe.

If we are not – it will put us into a Fight or Flight* mode.

If we are safe – it will scan for belonging cues.

Belonging cues means:

  • Your opinion matters.
  • Your efforts are important to the team.
  • Your pain is our pain.

Simplified examples of belonging cues:
(✅ means “you belong here”, ❌ means “you do not belong here”)

– Guys, I have an idea.
– That will never work! ❌

– Guys, I have an idea.
– Could you elaborate more? I don’t understand how it will work. ✅

– Guys, I have trouble joining the Zoom call.
– We will start, but hopefully you will be able to join soon. ❌

– Guys, I have trouble joining the Zoom call.
– What’s the issue? ✅

– Amy, if you weren’t part of the team, our projects would always be “almost done”. ✅

– Guys, I have a personal emergency and have to go NOW.
– Finish your work first and then you can go. ❌

* If your brain sends you in a Fight or Flight mode, check out our Pill to practice your conflict resolution skills!
* Learn more about belonging cues by reading the book The Culture Code.

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