Let’s Clear up Some Misconceptions About Community Building
There are 4 common misconceptions about community-building; actions that when we take them may lull us into believing we are “doing community-building” when in fact we are not. Let’s take a look at these erroneous beliefs.
#1 You Can Organize a Group Into a Community
No. If you are trying to organize a group into a community, you are not building a community at all; you are building an organization. Community-building is an organic process undertaken by the group, even as it is facilitated by a trainer community leader.
#2 Hospitality is Community Building
No. Setting out coffee and donuts in the lobby of an office or apartment building, for instance, is not community-building. It’s a nice gesture that can create a space for community-building but it’s not community-building; it’s hospitality.
#3 Team Building is Community Building
No. If you want a community, you need to take community-building actions. Team-building actions will result in a team, not a community.
#4 Event Planning is Community Building
No. Sponsoring parties, barbecues, and wine-tasting events is not community building; it’s event planning.
All too often, what’s missing from community-building efforts is
To be fair; we have never learned what it takes to build communities until now. At Kalliergo Community Building, we have dedicated years to decoding the process and teaching others how to lead groups in community-building. [Read: there is a lot more to it than you might imagine.]
Though our need for community is perhaps greater than ever, community-building doesn’t happen naturally as it did in the past. In the past, communities were formed to support our physical survival (think hostile environment, saber-tooth tigers). Today our needs are not physical; they’re emotional (crises in addiction, suicide, loneliness).
So how do groups become communities?
What is the Truth About Community Building?
In order to do anything in life we need:
- A clear understanding of the goal
- A plan of action to achieve that goal
The Goal: Build A Community
What exactly is a community? It is an inclusive, authentic group where people communicate and collaborate well, enjoy one another’s company, and are there for one another. A community is a place where you are seen, heard, valued, and acknowledged for exactly who you are; a special place where you are important to the people there just because you’re there.
Imagine what our lives would be like if wherever we went, there we found another one of our communities. I believe we should and can build communities in all the places we live, work, study, and play. We only need to learn how.
The Plan of Action: Get Community Leadership Training
The first step is to provide leaders with training in community-building or to bring in someone who has been trained.
A leader trained in community-building can facilitate the group’s evolution through the community-building process, and guide the group in conflict resolution, collaboration, communication, and community maintenance.
Take your leadership skills to the next level by participating in a Kalliergo Community Leadership Certification program.
With this training, you’ll be equipped to build community with any group you are a part of, at home, at work, at school, and at play.