"TYPE B"APATHY -- "WHO, ME? LET GEORGE DO IT!"
Cause: The problem may seem important to the members, but they are afraid to work on it. The group atmosphere leads them to feel exposed to attack or ridicule, so they feel insecure, self-conscious, or embarrassed about presenting ideas.
Symptoms: Members never seem to have enough information. They emphasize the consequences of a wrong decision. Proposed solutions are attached as unrealistic, unworkable, or too rash. They suggest that somebody else make the decision.
Remedy: Act fast to improve the climate. Encourage the group to brainstorm. Everybody contributes any idea that comes to mind, no matter how simple, silly, or grandiose it may seem. All ideas are accepted and listed without any attempt at evaluation. When a long list of ideas has been assembled, usually two or three will stand out as the most likely for the group to explore, without anyone feeling put down. Sharply discourage any forms of ridicule (distinct from good humored joking) or rash personal criticism. If two or three members are the source of the trouble, confer with them privately -- get them to see how their behavior inhibits the group.
Field Representative ~ Membership & Organizational Development
New Jersey Education Association