Finding your Cliques

Membership of a clique might be through convenience, accident or design. As we grow from childhood to old age these change and evolve.

A quintessential Kiwi clique would be a small group of people from antenatal classes who become lifelong friends. Shared experiences, the need for acceptance and advice, and a degree of exclusivity are all hallmarks of a clique.   

We each hold predetermined beliefs and values. Culture, upbringing and genetics play a large role, but it's the groups of people we live, learn, work and socialise with that influence us in various ways. We receive and share new plans and decisions through the different groups of people we interact with.  

Of course, not everyone in every antenatal class will form one clique. We feel more of an affinity for some people than others.   


Understanding the cliques people belong to is the first step in understanding how you can create connections that will open the door to mutual understanding. Even if we agree to disagree with someone, having understood where the other person is coming from could be just as productive.  


For most companies, the opportunity to have meaningful communication with their stakeholders and customers is hampered by the misconception that companies only want to talk to people and not with them. This misconception is based on the old-fashioned stereotype that the private sector is only motivated by profit. Read what any expert in business excellence has to say, and they'll tell you that doing good is a prerequisite for success.  


While knowing your cliques is one step, understanding what they need and helping them achieve their goals can lead to your own success.  


It's not personal but it is personal. We are naturally drawn to people who share our outlook or approach to life. Situations where people intentionally seek out the non-conformist is in itself a statement about their beliefs and predispositions.


Once we have spotted those indefinable elements of "mutuality", we are suddenly more willing to listen to what someone have to say. 

Cliques can also influence the wider environment that we work in.  

Traits of a clique

• Mutuality - Like-minded - Small and close-knit

• Exclusivity, blocking entry by others

• Interact regularly or intensely

• Meets a need for acceptance, validation, reinforcement and social acceptance

• Linked together intentionally or unintentionally because of perceived commonalities

• Establish or maintain shared agendas 


The Modern Day Clique 

Membership of a clique is traditionally exclusive and limited to those who genuinely share very specific beliefs, values and traits. These groups of like minded people are bound by their commitment to particular interests and issues, and without realising it will effectively block dissenting views from their group.

The Clique brand reflects a belief that mutual inclusivity is the mark of a modern and evolved clique - a group of people who share a common interest but are not afraid to include people who hold a range of views on those issues or interests. Social media communities have many cliques like this, where robust discussion occurs with an underlying mutual respect for each contributor.

Consumers who are overwhelmed with information on a subject they need assurance on are far more likely to look to the clique that offers the most consistency in their message. This makes the traditional clique the most potent force we face in communications today. 

There are two very specific strategies we can undertake to address this narrowing of discussion and ideas. First, by understanding the true goal of the clique and demonstrating how you can help them meet that goal. To do this we need to have genuine respect for their position. Second, seeking other people who can form a wider modern and mutually inclusive clique that brings together the different views, albeit with a common and clearly defined goal.

In our many roles in life we each belong to a myriad of cliques that can influence our trust and acceptability for different people, products, organisations, and even issues.

The Clique helps you identify, join, grow and contribute to the right cliques in the right way.  

In order to click with a clique, accessibility and authenticity are equally essential. Accessibility is not just influenced by the format and language; it’s the relevance and appeal to each group, delivered in ways that makes it easy to engage. 

When something clicks we have connected with that idea, experience or opportunity. It’s an entirely personal experience, subtly different for each of us, but with commonalities across cliques that, once recognised, make the difference to your ability to connect. Working together with our clients, we pool our knowledge and insights to achieve that click with your cliques.

Building meaningful relationships with your cliques in order to achieve mutual understanding and respect requires honesty and transparency. Actively seeking ways to deliver mutual benefit is part of this.