Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Participation and non-participation

If I say that I’m going to do something as part of a group effort then come hell or high water I will do it. It would take some massive crisis for me to let other people down and if I did realise that a change of plans was needed I would sort out the alternative provision myself.

Sadly and annoyingly there are too many people around who are quite prepared to offer their help during the initial planning phase but who then drop out without a thought if they get a better offer or if following through on their initial offer proves to be mildly inconvenient to them. They then end up feeling aggrieved or snubbed when twelve months later they are not even asked to get involved!

Another variation of this is when somebody offers their help but their offer is so surrounded by caveats and conditions that in reality they are not in a position to help at all. As an example If somebody volunteers to be a school governor then it is pretty much a given that they need to be able to attend meetings and/or to visit the school. I well remember a new governor over in Northamptonshire whom I never saw in the 12 months between her appointment by the Local Authority and my departure over to Shropshire. No exaggeration – I literally never saw her. At least twice she arranged to come in for her initial briefing only to break the appointment at very short notice.

The third and final sub-type is what I call the “non-resigner”. Sometimes a person stops participating in a group but remains, nominally, a member. This can be difficult to deal with especially in circumstances where the total membership of the group in laid down by law.

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