Is it Time to Ask if They Are Still With Us?

April, you would be proud of me. I think I am finally at a point where I’m seeing the need to face a variety of conflicts head on. If you recall my story in class about the recent beginnings of a committee revamp, I am again finding myself considering this committee and how concepts that we’ve uncovered in class may help breathe life back into it. Remember that this is a committee that for sometime now people have found to be more of a joke than a true working group. They’ve stopped attending, participating in projects, and generally just seem to stay on so that they can say they are involved. Now, I realize that I am also superimposing some of my own assumptions to their reasoning; but it begs the true question, is it time to ask them if they are still with us or not? I’m suggesting to the leader of this committee today to step back and really think about structure (we have no charter or guidelines) and to consider the actual members of the committee with a bit more of a critical eye. To me, it’s really time to ask them to either participate or get off the boat. (In a nice but firm way of course:). We recently decided to redirect the committee and focus more on the passions of the group; but yet, if no one is really willing to participate in the group or its endeveors as it is-what value do these new ideas truly hold? With non-committed members, will we not be left with only great ideas and then the same few that are willing to implement them? I say, we cut those that are riding along and find some that are willing to help us put some of these new passions into practice and meet the goals of our group for this new year. It may prove a long road ahead should we choose to do it, but wouldn’t you rather have those that are willing to do as opposed to so many that consistently don’t? I’m eager for your thoughts fellow Groups & Team members…what would you do if you were part of this group?


About hdjackson

Graduate Student at Virginia Commonwealth University studying the theoretical world of Adult Learning along with its relation to Human Resources Developement. View all posts by hdjackson

2 responses to “Is it Time to Ask if They Are Still With Us?

  • April

    I am proud of you REGARDLESS!!!

    Your post is a timely one for me, though, because I’m starting a new committee a work that I have a huge question mark about, but more about that later.

    What would I do? Get everyone in a room and yell at them about how ridiculous this committee meeting is, and then slam the door as I stalk out of the room.

    Kidding. Though that’s what I prolly really want to do. See? I do have a filter!

    No, I’m way to much of an “activator” to let such a committee just languish. What you’re doing is the right thing. The one thing I would add (if it interests you and you have the bandwidth) is to volunteer to help the leader of the group along (act as coach) or take over the role of facilitator of the re-grounding process. (Doesn’t mean the leader doesn’t still have a leadership role going forward.) If the committee can have validity, then it SHOULD, and y’all, as part of the committee, need to make it happen. But, it’s possible that the committee doesn’t have usefulness, in which case it needs to be disbanded…I would think.

    I’m starting a cross-functional team meeting every couple of months for the folks within my department. We have staff meetings, but they’re very much one-way conversation types of things (with speakers and presenters talking at us, but not with us). This c-f team is intended to create efficiencies and understanding between people to ensure we’re using our collective brain power o attack problems, not duplicating work, and just getting along better. What you’ve written here reminds me of the things I need to do for our first meeting in two weeks.

    Thank you!

  • Carol

    Wow! I do remember Holly making the comment about what she had started to do and that the result of her first step towards facilitation was her boss concluding with: “Uh, but nobody signed up for the ‘activity'”. In essence, that was not the goal of facilitating, but I remember Holly did get some good feedback from the committee members about her initial thoughts!
    Though I have been in the position of leading a small committee, it was boring, a bit effective (since we shared esl writing material), but in the end I thought that the best way to motivate people into bearing the bi-weekly 30-45 minutes was to have food! I look back today, after a couple of years, and think that I could’ve really done things TOTALLY different; specially after reading Holly’s blog post and April’s reply! It will be interesting to continue in contact with Holly to find out how this turns out!
    Thanks for all your ideas and feedback!

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