Difficulties of Inclusion
The inclusion process in a team can be difficult in various ways. This always means that a team must decide if it is satisfied with a weak and potentially dysfunctional inclusion or if it builds up (additional) competences to handle the existing situation creatively. The most common and important obstacles are the following:
• The organisation has decided: the less influence the team has in the selection of the new member, or worse, that their stated preferences have been overridden, the more probable it is that the new member will be experienced as an imposition. This difficulty increases when rumours circulate that the new member might be a ‘spy’ from other groups or higher levels.
• Competence deficiencies in the new member: It should not be underestimated when, because of their life history to date, competence deficiencies are suspected from the beginning. “What is this, a lawyer is supposed to lead the human resources department?!?”, “He has never really done marketing before!”.
• Diversity: The more different the new member is, the harder it will be to gain acceptance “This is one of us!”. Different origins, ethnicities, religious affiliations, sexual orientation, mother tongues etc, can be emotional hurdles for team members, which must not be underestimated, Often the team splits into the ‘open-minded’ and the ‘rejecting’.
• Rivalry fears: Not least, new team members trigger worries about status loss etc. where there are existing rivalry fears. The current embedded status quo is at risk. The more such fears are projected onto the new team member, the more difficult the acceptance.
Of course, a team can work on all these topics, with and without consultation.