It is always advisable not to be part of any clique, especially if the clique is dysfunctional
Good performance and existence of high potential in an employee is not a passport for unethical practices
I’ve recently noticed that my office has many cliques and this seems to be spilling out from personal socialising into work as well, with team leaders asking for their friends to be staffed on their projects. I am not aligned to any group as such, though I am friendly with everyone. I fear that my not belonging to a clique is affecting my prospects and ability to work on interesting and career-making projects. How do I address this?
- Mr Worried-About-Missing Out
Dear Mr Worried-About-Missing-Out,
Cliques are the unfortunate reality in some offices. Existence of common interest groups is a natural phenomenon. However, some cliques may be dysfunctional, and lead to compromising on merit, as cliques by definition are not inclusive. It is always advisable not to be part of any clique, especially if the clique is dysfunctional. This does not mean you should not be socialising, or that you should not be well-networked in the office. Remaining friendly, accessible and helpful to everyone is highly recommended.
I will suggest that you focus on: aligning with your boss, making a good impression at your workplace through your contributions, knowledge and capabilities. Make yourself available to all the colleagues when they need help, be collaborative, and be a good team player. I will suggest that you establish productive work relationships with everyone. Even as you do all this, at the same time, do not be naive about office dynamics/politics, and ensure you don’t get hurt.
Vivek Paranjpe is Consultant & Strategic HR Advisor to Reliance Industries. Allow Vivek to clear your career and professional dillemmas by writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org