Our team has to make people feel included if we want to have more than 6-8 people active on each team.
If people feel excluded, they will have a bad experience and quit.
People can get excluded through social bullying:
- Not included in communications
- Not invited to events
- Ideas not genuinely listened to
- Not allowed to contribute to decision processes
- Not introduced to other people
- Embarrassing a person in front of the group
- Criticism behind somebody’s back
Social bullying doesn’t have to be deliberate. Groups who turn their brains off do it without meaning to.
To avoid excluding people, we have to care about including people.
We need to spend some effort to include people. That includes spending the mental effort to think about it even when we’re focused on tackling other problems.
Including people means doing things that make them feel like part of the group:
- Talk to people other than just your friends
- Introduce them to more people
- Communicate what’s happening on the team
- Communicate team business in ways that everybody can access (not just conversation / email / texts between inner circle)
- Use GroupChat and Trello to keep the team in the loop
- Ask peoples’ ideas and listen for real
- Invite people to team events
- Pay attention to other peoples’ feelings
- Confront issues instead of talking behind somebody’s back
- Take feedback from other people when making decisions
It is difficult to avoid having an inner circle or clique on a team.
From inside a clique, it can seem like everybody is allowed to be part of the group, but from the outside it doesn’t feel that way. It takes presence of mind and some effort to avoid a clique situation.
It’s pretty easy to achieve an inclusive group of 6 people. It’s much harder to do in a group of 10 or 20 or 30. Spend the effort – it’s worth it to have a stronger team and give more people some great experiences.
Bullying will be addressed, and bullies will face consequences.
- Consequences and corrective action may include communication with parents, being sent home for the night, being suspended from LM Robotics for a period of time, referral to the LMHS administration, removal from certain duties on the team, or dismissal from the team.
- Consequences will escalate in severity in the case of continued bullying.
- Linn-Mar’s district policy can be found on the Board of Education Policies Page (see section 100) and more information is in the LMHS Student Handbook (from LMHS Website, click “School Website” and find Handbook on the left)
- You can tell ANY school employee about a bullying situation to get help