Building a Community to Create a Family
We join communities so we can feel connected to others. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. What makes it not work? I think if authenticity is at the forefront, it’ll work. If community leaders and members pretend to be something they aren’t, then either the community can’t grow and/or it falls apart.
Reflect for a minute about a time when you felt really connected to a group of people. What was it like? What did you do together? For me, connection begins with being authentic - straight-up real. Sometimes we have to guard ourselves, but then if you have to do that it’s a warning signal. There must be something about the person or group that sets that off our alarm to put our guards up, right? So, if you have that feeling of authenticity, what next? I think the rest is easy. We talk, support, share, listen, lead, follow, everything and anything because connections were made.
In my fitness classes, establishing a relationship in some way is really important to me. I begin to know things about them that help me be the best teacher for them. We partner or group up in an interactive way so members can build connections. In a coaching situation, I make it a priority to know the history of each athlete and also try to get to know each of them to build understanding and trust. In these situations, I feel like how can I tell people what to do when I don’t even know them? In fitness classes, it’s a bit different but never too early for them to feel seen and heard.
Over time, the greater the connections are made the greater the opportunity to create family within that community, is. When a thriving community exists the opportunity for wellness exists as well.