build community by making all persons feel like valued team members.
Here are three behaviors that build community.
teams teach the value of getting people to work together toward a common
goal and backing each other up in case of a stumble, injury, or a bad
play. Furthermore, when team members work together, motivation and
commitment to the team are increased, and often a synergistic effect
occurs. The same is true with non-athletic organizations. Good people
work together as a team and accomplish more than when working as
individuals. Communicate and demonstrate the importance of teamwork.
At times leaders must make independent decisions, but
increasingly, policy decisions are hammered out in the give-and-take of
small-group discussions, with the goal being to reach consensus on the
solution. Consensus must not be confused with unanimity. Consensus is
simply agreeing to agree after all information is “on the table.”
When a group reaches consensus, individuals tend to support and
implement a new policy willingly. See the
April 2002 column on “How to Promote Consensus.”
Everyone needs encouragement. The word encourage comes from two old
French words: en, which means to “put in,” and corage, or
courage. So when you encourage others, you give them courage; and when
you discourage them, you take their courage away. Lack of encouragement
when it is needed or expected can be discouraging. When you encourage
others you help them to be and do their very best. Be an encourager.
Leaders who think team, promote consensus, and encourage others will