Posted by: Kate | April 7, 2008

Group Politics

We are not a family of politic people. By that I mean we don’t play the games that seem to be played in large groups of people; nodding to the “in” crowd, parenting the “right” way, caring about the “right” things. We do, however, care about what happens around us and thus still make an effort to get involved in things we find important.

Organizations are tricky entities. They can be amazing vehicles for positive growth and change, or they can become little cliques, where only the right people are permitted to get involved. I have experienced both, and the latter ones are very frustrating.

When you have an important job to be done, when you know that there are some major decisions to be made — that is not the time to be playing politics. Yet for some people it seems to be the time when the most politic plays come about. It should be a time for open communication and inclusion, not exclusion and bickering.

It has been tempting to turn my back in some situations, but that would allow the politics to win. So I go, and try, and get frustrated and try again. Because I believe in the cause of the organization, rather than the people running it. 




  1. I gave ten years to one organisation and 18 to another, and finally gave up after all that time. Some of the time was rewarding except when all that clique political stuff crept in. When it finally took over I lost interest and left! Must be a human trait, to get cliqueky?

  2. I think you’re right, somehow the clique thing seems to be inborn, although only in some people. Or is it learned from parents who like the cliques? Not sure. Does everyone really have a clique, just some aren’t the popular ones? Again, don’t know the answers, just the questions!

  3. Its those darn Girl scouts again,isn’t it? ;o)

  4. I had a rude awakening at a meeting least month. I made a seemingly innocent comment/question and almost got my head bit off. It was like someone threw a glass of ice water in my face…just like that I had a whole new view of this organization. It made me sad and my instinct was to turn and run. But you’re right. If I leave, they win and it’s the cause of the organization that is important to me. So I stay…and I stay quiet!

  5. You’re stronger than I. I’ve walked away from organizations that were so needlessly political and cliquey that I just couldn’t take it anymore, in spite of the overall good being done. Think I might be slightly misanthropic. :-)

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