Why Creating Division Is Ineffective in Gaining Authority

Sowing division is a desperate measure of attaining power over people. Formation of an ingroup and a resulting outgroup can happen organically. It can also happen with intent on the part of leaders, managers, and supervisors.

This article is about why you should avoid encouraging division within the context you seek authority.


You Will Prevent the Untouched Delivery of Truth

Establishing an outgroup involves setting boundaries on aspects with which you disagree. Notwithstanding what those traits are, individuals assigned to be problematic to your cause will be labeled as such due to information about them you deem problematic.

The traits by which you label others as the outgroup contain just as much information about you as it does about them. Your act of separating people based on traits incompatible with your goals educates onlookers on your values.

Any future information presented to you, whether directly or indirectly, will be affected by the values you publicize by your acts of creating an outgroup. Those who seek to be on your good side will massage their presentation of information to be favorable based on those values. Those who seek to avoid falling into the outgroup will morph their presentation of information in a defensive manner.

As a result, a large part of the information you receive after initiating a strategy of dividing and conquering will be untrustworthy in its alignment with reality.


Your Supporters Will Further Divide

Those who make it into your ingroup will seek to further capitalize on the benefits of being on your good side. Since they’ve witnessed the perks of being on your team, they’ll scour for more of your values that they can take advantage of.

Members of your ingroup will begin to make guesses at what you like and don’t like. They will start playing to your likes in an effort to differentiate themselves from others who are already in the ingroup. This will create micro-divisions within your ingroup, as the more astute begin trying to differentiate themselves from the less motivated.

This behavior causes issues with teamwork, mutual goals, and cooperation within your group. Strategic goals of the group begin to take a backseat as divisions within the group begin to form. Personal goals of separation from the rest, for authority in your eyes, begin to take precedent.


Each Fragmentation Will Produce Like Minded Opponents

As your encouragement and exploitation of division for strategic purposes plays its course, what you thought were an ingroup and outgroup begin to fragment into many subgroups. Those on your side will begin to differentiate themselves based on their analysis of your values, and you will begin differentiating those in the outgroup into varying subgroups.

Some of those against you won’t be as problematic as others. They’ll be organized as such. However, all individuals who get fractured off from the shrinking minority of being ideal supporters in your eyes will have one trait in common. They will all share the feeling of being excluded and therefore disempowered.

Their feeling of exclusion will motivate them to seek further alignment with others who’ve been excluded like them in an attempt to gain power over you and your shrinking ingroup. The manifestation of that tendency will not seem dangerous to your authority initially. However, as more are segmented out of the ingroup the numbers will start to tilt. Those you trust will reduce in number. Those who don’t trust you will grow. You’ll find yourself strategizing against a group of individuals connected by their desire to see your authority deminish.

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Disclaimer of Opinion: This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims. Please critically analyze all claims made and independently decide on its validity.