Reply: Here are some ideas, perceptions and practices that result in that situation:
- they aren't committed enough to any one program to make it a viable one. Or
- they don't grasp the major changes in the government's communications needs of the 90's. Or
- the unit isn't an active part of its government and isn't utilized due to such reasons as the above; or as a result of the agencies perception of the people or the programs usefulness.
Item 2. Multiple card-carriers who want to feel like they are "really doing something" when in fact they may be doing little or nothing in a cohesive and directed manner.
This can be an extension of the need to control described in item 1.
There will be those of this group who will contend that they are "never called out and so they belong to several of the groups so they will be able to actually do something" as they express it. [review item one and also see next bulletin.] This can also be a person on a real ego trip. In either case it may be best to let them fade away without depending on them until they ask "why?". Generally, those with such attitudes can't be helped until they are ready to look beyond their own perceptions.
There are, of course, other aspects of the above, so please keep in mind that one of the major purposes of these bulletins is to aid on-going dialog between the agency Radio Officer and the paid staff. It isn't a matter of whether this presentation of this is "correct" or not (as there are other possibilities), but that it stimulates interchange of ideas and relationships on the topic. It will help to study the next bulletin before forming an opinion! The entire topic is complex and covered in related bulletins on "reasons" that people give as a justification of their actions.
Item 3. Misunderstanding by the person having multiple commitments and/or poor leadership. Unit participants want benefits they can understand, but this may not be apparent to them. It takes an effort on the part of the leaders to place benefits into focus for the participants; still, it is also up to the participant to seek these out.
Item 4. Leaders must make the benefits of commitment to any program clear, meaningful and purposeful. It doesn't matter whether it's the RACES, Red Cross or whatever. Its leaders CAN help participants realize the importance of committing to support ONE program of the person's CHOICE. Leaders must understand their own program, communicate its importance and develop participants with an interest in really making a contribution to a specific program. When that is done you can have people signed up with several programs, but whose prime commitment is to one specific program first and foremost. It's a matter of the mental understanding and approach of the leaders and of conveying its importance to the participants. It takes effort and time, but is worth it in the long run. It begins with expectation.
Item 5. People with undeveloped self discipline have difficulty pushing themselves into new ideas, applications and concepts; such as "my commitment to the (unit name) is important to me and to my community; I willingly agree to serve the unit of my choice to the best of my ability." Without self discipline there are people who won't make good operators/participants in any program. It's best to just let them float where they will - basically ignoring them - and build the program around the few really committed participants to whom the work and program is really important.
Since one of the major purposes of these bulletins is to further the rapport between the agency coordinator and the Radio Officer it is recommended that they be discussed in person at an appropriate opportunity planned by the Radio Officer.