REFLECTION ON GROUP MEMBERSHIP 2
A lifelong fear of small groups
I have, for as long as I can remember, been afraid of other people. Not in acrippling, hide in the house all day kind of way, but the fear exists in enough of acontinuous manner that I am aware of it. I would imagine that it stems from a fear of public speaking—after all, what is group communication if not speaking to a smallpublic—but I think the root cause in its totality is less one-dimensional. This feelingmakes group and small team interaction difficult, and requires coping strategies foreffectiveness. In spite of these feelings, or perhaps because of my hypersensitivity tothem, I have learned how best to represent myself in small groups, and how to functionwithin them.It would be unfair to portray myself as an agoraphobic mute, hiding from the rolesand responsibility of communication. I work through my dislike of group situations one-by-one, and see this as a parable to the overall workings of group dynamics. The natureof groups is that we must all contribute, but to do so effectively we must first evaluate thetype of contribution we are comfortable making; the type of contribution that we cansustain over the duration of our membership.
A dysfunctional team
My career trajectory has taken me through the nonprofit sector for just under adecade. I entered the field at the end of a very prosperous time for philanthropies andnonprofits and have weathered a recession and the 2009-10 economic meltdown. Isurvived these economic disasters—while many of my colleagues and coworkers careers