December 01, 2013   by
Fix bad apples in your Chama

Fix bad apples in your Chama

Whether you lead a small Chama just starting out or you have a large successful well established Chama, every Chama leader runs into these types: The members who don’t seem motivated, don’t deliver what they promise, and seem to spend a good amount of their time complaining and bringing the rest of a good Chama down. What do you do with such as person?

The first step is always to look in the mirror and ask yourself these questions: What am I doing to cause this situation? Have I given this person all of the help and support they need? Have I honestly and clearly communicated my concerns and, specifically, what the unmotivated Chama member needs to do to improve? If you can answer all of these questions and you still feel like it is a member’s attitude that is the problem, here are a few other steps to consider:

What is motivating them or causing them to act this way? People do things for their own reasons, not yours. So, what is driving their behavior? People always do the best they can with what they have so you need to get in there and figure how to tie-in something motivating and important to this person. They need to see that getting on well in the Chama will have a positive impact on something that is of value to them, something they are truly motivated by. Such as money, prestige or even a gift.

If the motivation thing does not work, put the bad apple member on a formal improvement plan. Now is when you lay out a written and specific overview of precisely where their behavior is not acceptable and you build a clear and measurable plan to get them to where they need to be.

Ask the person to build their own plan, in their own words and with specific measure of success and failure that they develop. Do this so there will be no argument later that they did not understand what they needed to do, or that it was unfair. If they built it, they will own it.

Of course sit down and go over it with them and negotiate a few items, change a few, add a few but it has to be clearly from them, in their words. Next, ask for three more lists: What will you need from me in order to successfully complete your plan? What sort of reward should you get if you achieve your plan? What will happen if you cannot achieve your goals? The reward they ask for should be fair and the punishment will be removal from the Chama. If the bad apple member successfully completes the plan, then you get to give them a big pat on the back and deliver the reward you agreed to; this is a win/win. If they cannot achieve the goals, and you honestly did everything you were supposed to do to help them, then the person must quit the Chama. This is also a win/win.

If you go through all of this and the bad apple member does not achieve her goals and does not want to quit, you now have all of the papers you need for a defendable expulsion. Make sure that you keep the other Chama members in the know and to try to always have a neutral third party in the room when you have serious conversations with this person.


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