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Sanctioning

The alternative to confirmation is sanctioning. Within teams, this is practiced in two forms. One is the negative reaction. This can be a simple “no”, a sharp “No way!” or a raised eye brow. The more subtle the reaction, the more effective, as the uncertainty is higher; it causes concern and thus the possibility of a counter reaction is less (how can one respond to a raised eyebrow?). The other, even greater, possibility for sanctioning, is ignoring. As interactions consist of inter-relatedness (double contingency), the refusal to acknowledge something is the most powerful tool in team dynamics, (some people may be familiar with how it felt when their parents no longer spoke to them). It should not surprise that bullying utilises the method of ignoring. Alongside sanctions, teams also always form a pattern as to who is permitted to sanction. These are not necessarily only the people with leading roles, they can also be ‘normal’ members of the team. Social psychology presents a great deal of research about who is permitted to sanction, and about how diverse, unpredictable, and different the rules, which members can be exposed to, are within each group



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