Do your days at work sometimes remind you of high school? (minus the endless sea of sexy headgear and retainers). You probably know what I’m talking about…the same group of coworkers that chat over coffee, eat lunch together, see each other outside of the workplace, share knitting pattern ideas for their cat’s next sweater (you know who you are crazy cat ladies…awww, I’m all talk. Max really needs a new dog beanie). The fact is, cliques are everywhere.
People naturally gravitate towards others that have shared interests, goals and viewpoints. These groups of pals can actually be healthy on the job. Developing trusting relationships and networking with those that you work with is great. However, to an outsider, your awesome little wolf pack may seem like an exclusive clique…mean girl style. Even if you don’t intend to give that impression, you need to watch it. Here are some ways to avoid such nonsense:
1. View people as individuals, rather than viewing them by the group they belong to. If someone regularly hangs out with a person or group that you aren’t too fond of, don’t jump the gun and view that person in a negative light.
2. Try and get to know a few coworkers that aren’t very talkative. Take some time each day to say hello, ask how their weekend was, ask if they caught the Bridalplasty marathon last night…ya know, whatev.
3. Don’t exclude others: When you take your breaks or go to lunch, why not ask a few people to join you? Try not to get into the habit of going to lunch with the same group every day, and make a point to include people from other departments once in awhile.
4. Get a life outside of work: If you find that you have been shunned by a group of office brutes, it makes a world of difference if your entire world doesn’t revolve around workplace relationships and the clique’s ridiculous shenanigans.
5. Act professional and treat everyone with respect: Regardless of your personal feelings towards a person or group of people, make sure you make decisions based on logic rather than emotion. This isn’t an episode of The View for pete’s sake.