The Mystery of Community Building
Some Things Can’t be Explained – They Need to be Discovered
In one of my programs with a group of fifteen people, after a few sessions, the group started to become aware that what we were doing was different from what they had expected: they had arrived at the conclusion that this was not like team building, that this was something very different. It was not so much their words that informed me, but the looks on their faces while they explained it. They looked as if they had thought they would be served Oreo cookies and were instead looking at a gourmet cake.
Community Building is Not Like Team Building
After going through stage 2, Chaos, where participants expressed frustration at our pace, one member wisely pointed out that perhaps we had been trying to rush what was [and should be] an organic process.
A session later, someone expressed that we had a choice as to where we wanted to be as a community: We could be a nominal community or a community at a deeper, more authentic level.
They had Stepped into the Mystery that is Community Building
Community building has to be a voluntary exercise because it involves choice, willingness, and commitment. The important ingredient of this process is awareness, the group’s awareness of itself as a group, and awareness about how the group is doing in the community-building process. This group was aware when we moved from stage 2 to stage 3 and they noticed when we reverted temporarily to stage 1.
Are Your Programs Effective?
At one session, a participant told the group that she was so busy at work that week that she canceled every other appointment on her calendar except this one. When I asked her why she replied: “I wanted to be here.”
A community is also a team. The creation of a team is one of many outcomes of Kalliergo Community building programs. Team building programs do not create communities – they only create teams.
Is it time for your organization to make the shift to community building? Let’s talk about it.
Photo by Maddy Baker on Unsplash