It is interesting thinking back to the Thatcher era and how polarised we became. You can see it happening now online with the news of her death. You can see the same thing watching the current conservative government demonising people. Whether it is immigrants, skivers, it is always “them”.
We fall into the same trap in organisations. Management are always dealing with “them” – employees, time wasters, even antagonistic customers. We distance ourselves from these others yet we define them on the basis of our worst fears – whether these fears are justified or not. We make sweeping generalisations and write off whole sections of society.
If we do this for long enough “they” get used to it and expect it. We allow “them” to wait for “us” to sort things and then we resent their dependence on us. We create a dependence culture both in society at large and in our organisations. But this allows us all to stay comfortable, to project our worries onto those around us, to stay stuck.
We need go grow up. We need to understand our projections and take responsibility for them. We need to stop thinking in terms of “us” and “them” and think more of “us”. We need to think for ourselves and think of each other rather than for each other. We need to help each other to grow up.