Ever wonder about the significance of community?
In the early 1990s, a group of women who were partners in what was then Coopers & Lybrand met to form a group study. At first they gathered monthly to discuss their careers and how to provide leadership in the firm in a traditionally male-dominated industry. But after a few meetings, the women began to realize they were meeting to discuss their work and their lives in general. They developed a strong mutual trust, and found they could rely on each other for frank feedback as they worked on strengthening their leadership abilities.*
All of us need to process our thoughts and feelings with other like minded people. In my experience these groups work. Members of the group have an opportunity to develop trust and confidentiality about life in general but personal growth in particular. As a leader of large organizations I would attach one caveat to workplace groups – these meetings cannot become places where people complain about the things with which they disagree with management. This is called gossip.
We see the need for community in all aspects of life. Maslow determined this when he developed his hierarchy of needs. Once we have food and shelter our next need is a social need. This is true even for introverts who want deep more meaningful relationships with fewer people. I know this because I am one such introvert.
When we isolate ourselves, we are poorer because the benefits of others’ gifts are lost to us, so what we lack, we cannot get. More…
We need a place where we can share our common values. In our high tech world many have the mistaken idea that we can do this virtually through online communities. These communities are better than nothing, but emptiness is the only thing found in being a recluse. To live an abundant life we need the experience of humanity.
What To Do
All change begins with a vision for something better. We bring this desired change into the forefront of our minds. This becomes a goal. It can begin with your passions. Find a hobby and look for groups who share this interest. Join a book club. Start a book club at work. Discover a third place. Examples of third places would be environments such as cafes, clubs or parks.
Still not convinced? Need help? There may be something hindering you from taking action. Check out this free gift for help.
Creed is a Certified Professional Coach who specializes in revealing passion. This is done through life coaching and life planning.
*Primal Leadership, pp 161-162