It's tough to call out someone in your group. Whether it's your work group or a social circle, if you like the people in it, it's tempting to support everyone inside and defend against everyone outside. While those are both good instincts, internal criticism of the group is crucial to helping it grow.
Photo by Nadine Dereza.
As productivity writer Seth Godin explains, it's very easy for us to slip into tribal mentalities. We internalize this idea that our group is right, the outside is wrong, and criticising our own is being disruptive. Often we'll even shoot down internal criticism because it's not being supportive enough. While this can sometimes be good for team morale, it can also allow groups to enable each other's blind spots:
The most powerful thing we can do to earn respect from those around us, though, is to call out one of our own when he crosses the line. "People like us, we don't do things like that." This is when real change starts to happen, and when others start to believe that we really care about something more than scoring points.
Of course, this doesn't mean that if you're the contrarian jerk of the group that you're actually on a noble mission to civilize. If you don't have anything positive to say, the group isn't likely to recognise that. However, a little accountability within the group is nothing to shy away from.
Kneejerks [Seth Godin]