Five words that are important in Community Building

Five words that are important in Community Building

Recently I have participated in a facilitator training. It has been wonderful. It was held by Edward Groody. I can recommend him as a trainer and facilitator any time.

However there were themes that have not come up during this five-day training, I would like to write about. (of course, there is no way to cover everything in five days)

So here are five words that I think are important when connecting with others and building community:

1. Respect

A true community is only possible with outstanding respect. But what if you don't like something? Well, it is all OK to express dislikes or displeasure in the group.

But it is so much better when you express that in a respectful and caring way, like: „I am really sorry to tell you that I don't like to listen to what you are talking about right now”

Or: „Joe, I hear what you are saying but I would like to pay a little more attention to what Mary has just said”.

Saying „Shut up” on the other hand is not the way to build a considerate atmosphere.

2. Responsibility

A true community is a group of all leaders. Important: this is true only after the community has been built. This is not true for pseudocommunity.

One indispensable ingredient in becoming a leader is to take responsibility for yourself and for the success of the group.

What to take responsibility for? For your own well-being, for following the guidlines, and take responsibility for caring about the whole group.

3. Agreements

This may sound like selfish, but the only way to be in a good community is to reach good agreements. It is all okay to express desires, emotions and needs, but these should be met only with mutual consent.

It is part of pseudocommunity to think, that things should work out automatically „since we are all this or that”. No, they won't. The only way to be well together is to open up, listen to each other, and see the lines along which our agreement can take shape.

4. Needs

I have touched on this under the agreements. We all have lots of needs (physiological and psychological). In the circle we tend to talk about emotions and feelings, but needs are deeper. Do you know your needs? Are you ready to express them? Are you ready to take responsibility for them?

What is your need? Why did you sign up for the event? Opening up about them could be the key to move towards true community.

5. Understanding

I think trying to understand others is the antidote for being judgmental. When we judge others we isolate ourselves from the judged people. Trying to appreciate and understand their story and situation helps in creating a caring and respectful atmosphere.

Understanding group dynamics on the other hand helps us realize the stage the group is in and what it is required to move forward.

+1 Consciousness

Community Building is a lot about getting more conscious about ourselves and about group dynamics. Processing emotions and monitoring ourselves about whether we are moved to say something or not increases our self-awareness and consciousness about the things that are buried in our deeper selves.

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