28.10.2020

Getting into a new team, look for an informal leader

If for most of us it’s summer – it’s time to leave, then for university graduates this time of new achievements. Career ups are beckoning, a wide range of duties and complex tasks are frightening. But sometimes you do not need to be afraid of it. Sometimes it is much more difficult to establish communication with the team, and not only for beginners and trainees. People with vast experience in various firms fall into the situation when colleagues not only ignore, but deploy entire campaigns to survive the disgraced employee. What causes office wars and how to behave to the defending side, the correspondent of SE explained.

Despite the fact that no one is insured from problems with colleagues, most of the time newcomers are subjected to attacks on their part. This is due to the general psychology: any established society is always wary of newcomers, whether it’s a new student in the classroom or a beginner in the circle of retired chess players. But for some reason, some recruits become “their own” in a couple of days, while others remain outcasts, dining alone. Sometimes the case is really in the team itself, for example, where there are four employees who have been working in the company for ten years. They no longer need anyone, and they will all do four of them: lunch, sit next to meetings, discuss projects and the latest gossip. They do not want to notice that the firm is growing and there are not four of them anymore, but seven, but the other three came later, so they can be ignored.

Doctor, they ignore me
Much more difficult, if a large team accepts everyone but you. This can be a reason to think about – maybe it’s up to you? 

“Like any community, the collective in the company lives according to certain rules and laws,” says Elena Shestak, regional director for Siberia and the Far East of the international recruiting company Kelly Services. – 

If a person appears who violates the established order or is very different both for the better and for the worse from the rest of the team (for external, professional, personal qualities), the collective often reacts negatively. “

As Elena explained, the new person does not know what the collective lives, what is accepted in it, and what is not, and, without knowing it, it can provoke situations of misunderstanding and conflicts. In this case, it makes sense to ask directly the question: “What am I doing wrong? Tell me, how is it better? “. “The psychology of people is such that it is difficult to answer” no “to the request for help, and the chance that the staff will meet is great,” Elena believes. In order to avoid such a situation, it makes sense to pay attention to questions about the team even at an interview – to find out the age and sex composition, habits, style of communication, traditions, etc. According to Elena Shestak, this will help to prepare a little for joining the company.

“At first you do not have to try to” understand everything “at once, categorically express your opinion, start to be friends with someone or against someone, – Elena advises. – Quietly “look around”, try to understand the distribution of roles in the team and choose your own behavior. Patience and tact in this case are your best helpers. ” 

On the Western Front, no change
A cool attitude from colleagues may leave somebody indifferent – not everyone wants active communication with employees. But often the rejection of the collective is expressed in the most real persecution, it is almost impossible to ignore it. Sometimes this proves to be just a provocation and a test of the beginner for strength. Elena Shestak gives an example when no other colleague greeted a new employee for two weeks: “The girl did not try to find out anything, did not contradict the laws of the collective and patiently waited for her colleagues to become more inclined to communicate. At the same time, she showed maximum openness and friendliness. ” 

The strategy turned out to be absolutely correct – the colleagues were accustomed to the presence of a new person, and the strength of her character and the fact that she did not succumb to the mass provocation caused respect and interest in her personality.

But sometimes such a test for strength is not enough. And in the course are gossip, reportage and even frank “falsifications.” Accidentally you will find out that you got to this position “by blat”, then important documents disappear from the table, and during the hospital your clients are told that you simply do not have at the office for a week. The reasons for this behavior can be many. For example, more adult and conservative employees may not like fresh ideas and attempts to change anything, even for the better. Someone may be afraid of competition, envy successes and even be jealous of other colleagues. Staying friendly and open in this situation is simply impossible. 

Do not wait for reinforcements
Some people think that in such a case only conversation with the authorities can help. But experts do not share this opinion:

“Going to the leadership makes sense only if the boss really has a big impact on the team, that is, the formal and informal leaders coincide,” Elena Shestak is sure. “If the leader is not an authority for employees, then the conversation with him will be perceived by the team as complaints, which will further alienate colleagues.” 

In the situation of baiting and open rejection without visible objective reasons, Elena advises to find in the collective of the informal leader (someone who has high authority among colleagues, not being the head) and try to establish contact with him: “If it will be possible to normalize relations with the leader, the attitude of the entire team to the newcomer will change. “

In addition to situations where you yourself are exposed to attacks, it can also happen that you will not receive another person in the team, but you look at it from the outside. Of course, this is a personal matter for everyone, whose side to take in this case is not to break away from the collective or stand up for a single person, at the risk of falling into disgrace with him. But it is better not to forget that no matter how improper this staff may seem and no matter how wonderful the collective, such a war does not adorn the attacking side. In addition, if the collective has chosen one victim for itself, there are no guarantees that after a while it will not become you. Perhaps in your power to adjust the climate in the office, not only when the aggression is directed against you. After all, in this case, prevention is definitely better and painless than treatment. 

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