As I shared in my post, What is the Secret of Teams?, one of the things we’ve discovered over the years is that the best teams not only have talented people and the requisite skills, they possess a powerful third ingredient – we call it Community. It’s what separates the great teams from the good ones. It is the turbo-charger for great team performance.
Here’s a working definition: Community is a place where people know each other deeply, serve each other willingly, celebrate each other enthusiastically, and mourn the setbacks in life together. It’s a place characterized by genuine care and concern for each member of the team.
I’m thankful I’ve been part of a community like this on several occasions during my life. We’ve laughed together, cried together, buried children and parents and even members of our community. We’ve willingly sacrificed for members of the group. We’ve given our time, encouragement, accountability and correction to each other. We’ve done life together. It’s really beyond my ability to put in to words the power, the joy and the potential that resides in genuine community.
As you read this, I hope you know exactly what I’m trying to describe. I hope you’ve experienced it also. If you have, you realize there’s no substitute for it! If you haven’t yet been part of a community like the one I’ve just tried to describe, I hope you’re asking one question:
How do you create Community?
There’s no formula, but there are some things you can do to fuel the process. Here are a few of them:
- Be intentional - Community rarely forms spontaneously.
- Go slow - don’t force it.
- Celebrate the little things as well as the big wins.
- Express gratitude and appreciation freely.
- Find ways to serve others on the team.
- Put the needs of the team ahead of your own.
- Be vulnerable.
- Think about activities you can do together with your team.
- Make building community an ongoing priority - not an afterthought.
- Never stop looking for ways to do life together.
- Be patient - creating genuine Community requires time.
When have you experienced the type of Community I’ve described above? What were some of the factors that helped your group create these authentic, caring relationships with one another? Please share your ideas in the comment section below so others can learn from your journey.