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Why People Act the Way They Do

The Attitude Continuum


One of the things we will learn in a subsequent lesson is that everybody or your organizational database is different than the person next to them in alphabetical order.

Distinguishing the differences and knowing how to deal with them is the key to successful development.

There are objective and subjective differences.

The attitudes of people help us to know where people are subjectively and what you can do about it. It’s a beginning point in helping us to understand our needs.

I. The Attitude Continuum

II. Two Things to Remember

A. Where people are is reflective of their perception of your ability to do what it is you say you’re going to do.

B. Where anyone is on the attitude continuum, you put them there.

III. Alternatives

A. Get Rid of Them!

B. Move Them!


A. Put a dot on the line that reflects your perspective as to where certain groups of people are on the attitude continuum. Here are some examples of groups you might want to “assess:”

1. Board Members

2. Administration

3. Donors

4. Volunteers

5. Clients

B. Next to each, suggest your reasons as to why you placed them where you did.

C. What can you do to move them in the other direction. List at least 5 ideas.

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