Connect with others this Christmas

Christmas is a time for coming together but how do we do this in a heartfelt and authentic way this year when we really need connection but it’s most likely still going to be difficult and challenging.

Whether at work or at home, there is a lot of thinking going on about how we can build a sense of community especially when we are not physically in the same space.

against all the odds

There have been loads of great efforts to connect people virtually this year – kitchen discos, quizzes and online classes and courses. We know that connection with others is one of the key foundation blocks of a calmer, happier and healthier lives and is a fundamental part of the Calm In A Box CALM model.

what makes a community?

The question I have been pondering is what does it take to build a great community…

Groups coming together around a shared interest equals a community. People are looking to align their purpose in life with others who have similar values and this can lead to powerful change for the better in many different ways.

leadership is key

Great communities have strong leaders – superusers at the top who set the vision and tone, role model what the group stands for and facilitate the members to contribute and participate in a way which works for them. The ‘what’ is clearly defined but the ‘how’ is up for discussion and involvement.

the connection skillset

Setting up and nurturing a sense of community requires a number of skills, particularly the ability to build trust and to engage individuals through listening, supporting and understanding. All of these behaviours build great relationships which work to support people in multiple ways. The members of the community must have a way of feeling valued for who they are as well as what they do.

the j word

The community also needs to see progress towards whatever it is trying to achieve. Small steps forward need to be highlighted and celebrated as we all know change can be slow and squiggly and people need to feel reassured along that journey through a variety of touchpoints.

labour of love

Developing community is a labour of love, takes time and care but the results are so rewarding in so many ways and can have a huge positive impact in making our world (small and big) a better place.

Have a think about what communities you belong to this Christmas and take heart that these elements that build and nurture community and connection can exist and thrive whether you are physically together or not.