Strengthening a Community
The best way to strengthen a community is to do what you did in the early days to create a community: Community building.
What is Community Building?
There is much confusion about what constitutes “community building”, and so many accepted misconceptions. A common misconception is that you should undertake activities similar to those used in team building, but that’s not accurate. Community building goes far beyond team building.
Too often event planning (staff parties, bar-be-cues, neighborhood block parties) or hospitality (flowers on a worker’s first day, espresso machine in the break room) are mistaken for community building. But these efforts, though well-meaning, fall short. What happens on the day after the event, or on the second day at work?
Community building is relationship building, the forming of meaningful, authentic connections among the members of a group. The specific type of community-building activities you do is important because these activities determine the caliber of relationships your group will develop.
The Deepest Level of Connection
Just as not every friend is a close friend, there are many different levels of community relationships: from waving hello to a neighbor on the street; to receiving a casserole at the door when you have a death in a family; to people from your neighborhood filling several rows in the church at the funeral; to neighbors sitting quietly with you in the weeks and months that follow.
Why Community Matters
The first line in the classic work, The Road Less Traveled, by M Scott Peck, was “Life is difficult”. It’s true. At times it is beyond difficult. But life is bearable when you have a community of people traveling the road with you during challenging times. And it is wonderful when you have a community of people who celebrate with you during the good times.
It is well worth the efforts to strengthen a community and to do that, you need to go back to the beginning. Learn how to build a community today.