The Bad Apple Effect

February 19, 2010 | 2 Comments

Dan Lentz posted a great article on SmallGroups.com on what he calls the bad apple effect. I call it the challenging people effect. No matter what you call it, it can create havoc in your group.

Dan cites a business-based study by Terence Mitchell, a professor of management and organization, and recently published by the University of Washington in the journal Research in Organizational Behavior.

One ‘bad apple’ can spread negative behavior like a virus to bring down office mates or destroy a good team. Negative behavior outweighs positive behavior, so a bad apple can spoil the whole barrel, but one or two good workers can’t ‘unspoil’ it. Companies need to move quickly to deal with such problems because the negativity of just one individual is pervasive and destructive and can spread quickly.”

Dan says, “A few years ago, SmallGroups.com surveyed group leaders and found that 22 percent of them had a situation with a relational offense in their group ‘right now.’ So, from this information, we might assume that at any given time, 1 in 5 groups may have a relational offense situation ongoing. That means the likelihood of your group facing just such a situation is pretty high.”

If you’re facing a challenging situation in your group, don’t forget the Small Group Help! Guides published by Standard Publishing. Dan is author of Let’s Get Started, offering all you need to know to start a group. And my book, Why Didn’t You Warn Me? offers you “right now” answers to those challenging people.

Photo Courtesy of (c) Flickr Creative Commons/Zawezome
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2 Comments so far

  1. Sue Massey on February 19, 2010 1:02 am

    Just wanted to say HI. I found your blog a few days ago on Technorati and have been reading it over the past few days.

  2. patsikora on February 19, 2010 8:08 am

    Welcome, Sue. Glad to have you aboard.

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