Cliques and Gangs

They say that misery needs company.  And while I’m not suggesting that any teachers or students come to schools with miserable intentions, watching those who are struggling congregate in groups is something we’ve all witnessed.

When staff are struggling and congregating to blame students, parents or leaders for their woes, we often refer to them as cliques.  When students do it, we’re more likely to call them gangs.

I view the potentials of breaking up cliques and gangs the same way.

Firstly, I imagine them on the other side of a river and picture myself with a small boat.  I can only fit one of the clique/gang in my boat at a time in order to get them across from the land of misery to greener grasses.

Who am I going to target?  I think you’ve got two choices:

  • Low hanging fruit. Get the person who really doesn’t need to be there and, deep down, knows that s/he doesn’t belong there.
  • The Influencer. Get the person who wields the greatest influence over the group.  It’s can be the riskier move, but the risk comes with high potential reward too.

The choice is really up to you.

But here’s what I know.  When a clique/gang of six becomes a clique/gang of five, its entire dynamic has changed.  No longer is the group Hotel California, where you can check out any time but you can never leave.  Somebody just left!

And convincing the next passenger to jump in the boat just got easier.

Keep fighting that good fight,

PS. ADELAIDE … you’re the final city on my national roadshow of workshops for Teachers and School Leaders. It’s been wild! If you’re a South Australian looking for better culture, practice, conduct and maybe even some sanity in Semester Two it’s not too late to get involved next week.  Click here for all the deets.


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