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Hi,

We are an organisation that has quite bad, Us and Them issues, within the same IT team.

Do you have a podcast on either Manager tools, or Career Tools that addresses these issues, and best practice to work through these issues.

 

Mark's picture

I don't really understand the problem.  But I can say that were I a manager, I would start (including the Trinity) by giving feedback to those who use the "us" and "them" appellations.

k1w1onoe's picture

Sorry about that I will try and be clearer.

I work for an IT team that is made up of 4 different teams, Each team has a team leader and there are 2 mangers with 2 teams each. I am one of the team leaders and would like to address the issue we have of "Them and US" whenever something goes wrong the individual teams blame each other, this goes right up to manager level, and gets as bad as one manger asking his team for any information he can use on the other team to "Stitch the other manager up in the mangers meeting" I would like to address this and am ideally looking for "10 things I can do to stop them and US politics"  do you have any suggestions.

Thanks again,

 

 

jhack's picture

Are you "Us" or "Them?"  Or an innocent bystander?  What's your role in the drama?  What are people saying and doing that leads you to believe that there is an issue?   

John Hack

tlhausmann's picture

If I understand the structure: You are a team lead reporting to a manager. The two managers report higher. Within the group there is conflict.

You also characterize one manager as seeking information to undermine the other. Do I have this right?

I urge you to consider reviewing the pod casts:

http://www.manager-tools.com/2007/02/handling-peer-conflict-when-your-di...

http://www.manager-tools.com/2007/02/handling-peer-conflict-when-your-di...

http://www.manager-tools.com/2006/08/resolving-conflict

Start with *you* and *your* team. As team lead you are responsible for the performance and results of your team. Deliver results.  By focusing on the work and getting your own team's activities in order....you avoid the "Blame Game." Turn the other cheek.  Your professionalism will serve as an example to others.

Your post suggests you desire a quick fix. There is no quick fix. Conflict is inevitable and do not fear it...expect it. If you have one of your best people (i.e. a direct report to you) engaging in ineffective behavior pounce on it with corrective feedback. if you see behavior on your team that is unprofessional *you* must address it with coaching and feedback.

Also, as a long time member of MT you *know* that you must focus on the behaviors and not *characterize* the behaviors.

 

 

Mark's picture

Forget about everyone else but you and your team.  Focus on getting you and them (ha!) clear on appropriate behaviors.  NO blaming.  No THEM.

When your boss asks for input to stitch the other guys, say no.  Demur.

Slower and organically always works better, and ESPECIALLY without power.

mikehansen's picture

In IT, this situation comes up a lot when there is an issue and it is not clear what the root cause of the problem is.  It is easy for a culture to build up over time that encourages trying to prove that it is not "your" issue rather than expending effort working together to fix the problem. 

As the wise folks above have pointed out, you can only focus on your teams behavior.  I would specifically look out for those "not it" scenarios and give feedback to encourage your folks to focus on solving the problem with the other team, regardless of whose court it is in.  If that is how you define success for your team, things will start to change.

For a quick read on the subject, you might check out Patrick Lencioni's book: Silos, Politics and Turf Wars.  It addresses the topic in a way that I found enlightening.

Hope this helps,

Mike