What New Beginnings Taught Me About Community Building
Is the culture of community found, or is it created?
Check out my interview at: It’s Not That Deep Podcast: Culture of Community
Let me share a story with you before you answer.
Although I now call Canada my home I wasn’t born here, I was actually born in Kuwait. But after the war in 1990 we were forced to leave. The place we knew and loved to call home no longer welcomed us. We were left without a community, or a place to belong.
In the fall of 1998, we touched down in the Canadian city of Ottawa Ontario. The eight of us were set to live in a small 3 bedroom house, but we were determined to make it a home.
My Dad started by transforming the boiler room into a hangout spot. He set us up with a TV and PS-2 so that we could multiplayer games together for hours!
Us kids took the lead on the next innovation — turning the central vacuum holes into a PA system. It became so popular that we started using it for morning announcements. The announcements went something like this,
“Fahd it’s your turn to do the dishes!”
“Be sure to put your scarves on, it snowed again!”
“Come to the kitchen, lunch is ready!”
You see, through these collective actions we created a sense of belonging between the eight of us. We created a community.
Instead of looking for a new community to belong to, we created one between the eight of us.
“That’s when I learned that you don’t find community, you build it.”
When we end our search for community and instead start building it, we create impact. We begin to create change and influence those around us … we become leaders.
It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, or how much experience you do or do not have, anybody can be a leader, and anybody can build a community or create change.
Leadership is no longer a noun, but a verb; leadership is about taking action. Specifically, small actions that create a sense of belonging, because when we create belonging, we naturally create community.
Learn how you can create community within the professional space with your team at work with my blog: An Undeniable Secret To Peak Team Performance
So, where does community building start? Only a few steps out of your comfort zone.
How You Can Build Community
Start with something you’re passionate about:
Sure, we all have things we love to talk about or listen to, but I’m not about to go preach to the world about Stranger Things and the realm of the supernatural. Find out what motivates you enough that you want to be involved in it. What drives you to seek out opportunities that you want to be engaged in? What makes you want to take action?
Still Curious about finding your passions? Check out this blog: The Secret to Finding Your Passion (Hint: It’s Not What You Think)
Once you find your niche, find like minded individuals. Talk to others who are already in the space. Not only will this help you establish a following, but also a direction. By talking with other individuals you will be able to figure out what troubles they experience and how involving them together as a collective can help. By showing a group of people how they are able to help each other creates a sense of trust. This will help you create belonging among a group of people because it will establish a safe place to create deeper connections
Not sure where to start when trying to establish a connect? Check out these tips: 10 Ways to Connect With Absolutely Anyone You Meet
Empower Those Around You:
Now that you have an established group of individuals bring them together as a collective. Show them how they are valuable members of a community and what they can bring to enhance the lives of those around them. Validate their concerns and remind them that it’s okay to make mistakes, but encourage them to strive for improvement. Be supportive of everyone around you and be there to celebrate with them in their successes. If you want to be a community you’re going to have to think like a family. Just how my siblings and parents are with me through thick and thin, you need to be there to support your community group through their success and failures as well.
Looking for more ways to empower others? Try this resource: 6 Ways to Empower Others to Succeed
Remember: The journey around creating community is also around creating impact. When we create community, we also create change and often that is where the start of community creation comes from.