Anyone who has been part of something, be it a group or team, who steady or abruptly finds the foundations of their membership, their friendship being removed will know how destabilising and isolating it can be. For this to happen in a work setting has implications that go beyond feeling and emotion as professional isolation can bring great harm to ones career and economic stability.

You would not expect
to feel alone
amidst a team of five,
but the balance is precarious
and all is not
as it seems.

I’ve known them all for years
we’ve worked, joked
shared sadness and joys
laughed and hugged
each other.

We traded ideas,
shared new knowledge
thrashed out theories
encouraged, praised
and cared
for each other.

I thought we had hewn
firm foundations
of trust

I was wrong.

So when the drip drip
of hearsay,
stifled truth …
and arrogance
honest questioning
I became

a stranger


in that room,

in the midst,

of my team.

(Sue Hansard)
May 2016.

Image: ‘Alone in a crowd’ – Lauri Rotko/Getty


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