Bullying cliques (or vicious gangs) are apparent early in life. They’re rampant in junior high school and high school. You can see the same type of behavior perpetuated in the workplace. O, the bullying is more harsh and twisted, and the justifications are more slick, but you can see the same ugly bullies, only in bigger bodies. What’s been your experience with cliques at work?
What do you think the top reasons are that people gang up on others?
Do women or men do it more – and to whom?
Typical clique behaviors that create a hostile workplace include, but are not limited to:
- Bullying, intimidation and overt physical violence.
- Cutting out and passive-aggressive attacks.
- Harassment (verbal, physical and sexual).
- Belittling, humiliating, demeaning, insulting, sarcastic comments and contempt.
- Backstabbing, gossiping and spreading rumors.
- Negativity, nit-picking, know-it-all, continual criticism.
- Bad reviews and denial of benefits and promotions.
The top ten reasons I’ve seen people form hostile, nasty cliques at work are:
- They’re jealous of other people’s intelligence, talent, skill, potential or success.
- They’re insecure and hate or are threatened and scared by differences and get to feel superior when they disparage other people.
- They use the clique to gain power, promotions and publicity.
- They want to attach themselves to the “in” crowd.
- They feel a thrill at the power of making someone suffer or beg for mercy.
- They feel justified because the victim did something bad to them.
- They feel powerful that they’re in control of punishment and retribution.
- Habits – they grew up that way and don’t know any other way to organize their emotional lives or get what they want.
- Narcissism and arrogance – “I’m the greatest. Kneel before me or feel the whip.”
- It’s human nature.
What are the reasons you see most often?