“When nobody is effectively ‘in charge’, you’re bound to get more people arguing over how things should be done.”
– Dean Burnett PhD.
You may have come to expect (and accept) that every election cycle will bring more and more mudslinging. Yet this cycle, it seems the slung mud is inside the parties nearly as much as at the opposition party. This sort of circular firing squad mentality is becoming part of the process as well. Almost everyday there is a series of leaked documents that expose the internal espionage inside the parties.
Thankfully, WikiLeaks hasn’t released private messages within our own organizations.
Does your workplace suffer from your own form of infighting? This is more than a programming versus sales discussion.
It’s about separate camps forming within because of lack of vision and leaders that unite.
Infighting is part of a larger type of group psychology. Dean Burnett commented on political infighting in his recent article in The Guardian, Why political parties fall apart: the psychology of infighting.
“Are the current crop of politicians sufficiently capable “leaders”? A reliance on presentation and spin may mean they have an easier ride from most voters, but these qualities don’t automatically make you a strong leader. In times of uncertainty (which seems to be 24/7 at the moment) a strong leader is very important for group unity.”
It’s not surprising that curbing disunity comes down to leadership that is engaged.
How often do we spin poor ratings or a lackluster fundraising effort with spin instead of addressing the underlying issues behind the results? The conversations after the explanation usually aren’t about how everyone bought into it.
Do we accept the results of a poor internal employee survey as a need for more self-awareness and change, or do simply send out a memo to the team letting them know “they’ve been heard” (or worse, conducting a “witch hunt” to find the dissenters)? Does this lack of directness bring unity or division from those who are targeted?
After hearing breaks that consistently miss the opportunity to connect emotionally, do we take the time to coach up talent or do we shoulder shrug and complain about not having enough hours in a day to get the job done? Your talent ends up alienated and silos are built. It’s better to catch them doing something right and point that out. That’s an easy first step.
It’s so easy to throw the word around, yet it’s really a challenge to a lead. Be in charge, as your strong leadership will be the difference between a united workplace, or overseeing a group even Julian Assange would shake his head at.
John is a partner in Goodratings Strategic Services, and has been a successful major market disc jockey and program director for such companies as CBS, Cap Cities, Westinghouse, Sandusky, Gannett, and Alliance during his 38 year broadcast career. John joined Goodratings’ partner Alan Mason in 1999. Contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org