Comments on Working with Dealing Cliques
Humans are social animals, as a result we tend to form networks in even the simplest situations. It only stands to reason that we would for relationships in an environment that takes up as much of our time as work. There are two key areas you need to look at when talking about dealing with cliques in the work environment: dealing with it as an employee and dealing with it as a manager.
Dealing with cliques at work as an employee can be challenging. Most employees just want to fit in. When there is a clique, this can disrupt business operations as people are concentrating on ‘appeasing’ the clique rather than getting their work done. Some things you can do are:
Reach out and make a connection to individual members of the clique;
Be productive at work;
Show that you are not someone that the clique can dump work on, focus on your projects and help others if there is need for your help.
Cliques can be a nightmare for people in management. They can quickly become a problem as they have their own hierarchy. As a result, sometimes they need to be addressed rapidly:
First, if you have a team that is functioning well and acting as a clique- decide if they are being disruptive. If they are not being disruptive, then it may just be as well to leave them do their work;
Second, if they are disruptive- talk to them. Most problems can be dealt with by addressing them directly and following a set protocol;
Third, if they remain disruptive- then you may have to move the team around. This is never an ideal situation; however, it is better than allowing a disruptive team to keep going;
Fourth, sometimes you just have to let a “personality” go. Cliques form around individuals and if the individual is acting as a surrogate for the corporate leadership, then they need to be eliminated, assuming they are disruptive. This can be difficult because this personality style tends to put ‘layers’ between them and fireable actions. Generally, you can put them in charge of the group then hold them responsible for the groups actions.
Dr. Smithmyer is the Stratigic Resouce Coordinator for Brav Online conflict Manager and an adjunct professor at Penn State World Campus (Business) and The University of South Florida, St. Pete’s Beach (MBA Business). He speaks internationally about conflict in the workplace and in business transactions. For speaking engagements or more commentary from Dr. Smithmyer contact his agent Remi Alli (Owner) at EliteExclusivityPR@gmail.com.