Organizational Consultation XXII: Empowerment (Part Two)

Organizational Consultation XXII: Empowerment (Part Two)

Handclasp: Two Person/Decision To Do Something

A suggestion made by one member elicits a reaction of support and permission to proceed from another. The group is launched into action without adequate testing as to whether the proposal is acceptable to the group as a whole. The handclasp between two or three is evident in cliques that form within the group and is a powerful method of control of the group. It often results from the failure of some members to meet their responsibility to the group by speaking up, voicing their opinions, keeping the group on target, and insuring that alternatives are considered.

Plop: One Person/Decision Not To Do Something          

A plop results when a group member makes a suggestion that meets with no response from the group as a whole. It falls plop. Not only is there no recognition or evaluation of the suggestion by the group, but the individual who offered the suggestion feels he has been ignored and possibly rejected. He feels that no one will listen to him.

Kill: Two Person/Decision Not To Do Something

A suggestion offered by one member of the group is rejected at once, either by one or more of the powerful members of the group as a whole.

Oligarchy: Multiple Person/Decision To Do Or Not To Do Something

A minority of the group ramrods a decision or suggestion into group action that the majority does not support. This leads to little future support by the group as a whole for the action taken.


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William BergquistWilliam Bergquist, Ph.D. An international coach and consultant in the fields of psychology, management and public administration, author of more than 50 books, and president of a psychology institute. Dr. Bergquist consults on and writes about personal, group, organizational and societal transitions and transformations. His published work ranges from the personal transitions of men and women in their 50s and the struggles of men and women in recovering from strokes to the experiences of freedom among the men and women of Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Bergquist has focused on the processes of organizational coaching. He is coauthor with Agnes Mura of coachbook, co-founder of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and co-founder of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations.

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