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Thread: Cliques

  1. #1
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    Cliques

    I have been forewarned that there are cliques in the work group at the job I start next week. Any pointers on navigating amongst them? I want to get along with everyone and not take sides.

  2. #2
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    No gossip, and when it starts up in a group you are with, don't respond, or else excuse yourself from the group.

    But if there is a group that you end up liking, I'm not sure it is wrong to socialize more with them than with others. Who knows, there may be the "no gossip" group that you would like!

    But honestly, the notion that a workplace is cliquey seems like a petty, gossipy thing to say.It would cause me to wonder about the veracity of that, and the motivation of the person who said it.

  3. #3
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    It was HR when I was being interviewed. My guess is they have had people quit over the atmosphere and are therefore being upfront about it. It is also reported on Glassdoor. Your suggestions are good. Thank you.

  4. #4
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    That is IMHO unprofessional of HR to say it. What does "cliques" really mean, anyway?

    That needed work information isn't shared amoung all employees, just a select few? That unfair work practices affect some employees but not others? That management favors some people, but not others, by giving them good work assignments, easier workloads, etc? That employees actually do not speak to each other?

    These are all management problems that can be expressed in terms of work and how work is affected. Behavior listed above should be stomped on by management.

    Otherwise, if it is just extreme socialization and friendships outside of work, so what?

  5. #5
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    See each person as worthy and likeable; don't take sides; accept that it will take 6 months for you and the job to understand each other and longer for the coworkers to see you as part of the group; don't look for friendship at work but cooperation; watch the dynamics and don't judge. People do what they do because it makes sense to them at the time. It may make no sense to you though. Focus on the job and ask for clear directions and boundaries. Often problems arise because the boundaries are unclear or being abused. Trust no one of the co-workers!!!!
    When you talk to anyone, imagine that it is being posted on a billboard for all to read. Best wishes!
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  6. #6
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    IL if someone finishes their work early she is supposed to help others, but people were only helping their friends and this led to shouting matches, last one a year ago. I told them I was willing to help anyone. Razz I like picturing a billboard. Thank you. It is a very large family business and going in it will take me awhile to learn who is tied to who by blood, friendship or otherwise.

  7. #7
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I agree with the "no gossip" rule! I worked in a satellite office where the main office was filled with cliques and gossip. And the HR person was the worst gossip!! I hated having to go down there for corporate functions. It was like going back to high school.

    Just try to stay out of it, and just be friendly. I'm sure if you are known as the one who doesn't gossip, people will respect you for that.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    Razz+1. I worked in a group that operated that way and I would explain it to the newbies. There was the work and there was the culture around the work that came with a 24/7 environment. I explained that there was no way to not get sucked in but during the probation period (a year working all shifts around the clock) to sit back and observe the relationships. What works and what doesn't. Decide on your own about your relationships with people and don't let others sift it out for you. I can imagine a family element puts a whole other spin on it. Ours was brutal and no matter how well you did the work if you couldn't cut it in the culture you were out.

  9. #9
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    "Ours was brutal and no matter how well you did the work if you couldn't cut it in the culture you were out."
    Yeah, this was my workplace. Real toxic and cliquey. The people I got along with all got fired, and the organization followed what I will call the chicken soup school of management--the scum rose to the top.

  10. #10
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    Honestly I'd say stay away from this job. But you are unemployed right? Then well take it I guess (realistic here), but it's got red flags, so it might not be your forever job (because you choose to leave later I mean).

    I'd just say be friendly and pretend you are friends with everyone (don't entirely agree with the focus on work and not make friends at work advise if the place really is cliquey, then your survival might be about everyone liking you as a person rather than just a doing a good job, so save deep friendships for off work but ask about everyone's weekend, kids, whatever). Well it really would take Machiavelli to navigate, but of course don't gossip or take sides (although there may be sometimes when it is strategically wise to take sides - "yes boss you are right on this one" - see what I mean).
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

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