People need to be heard. When they’re not, the resulting negative energy oozes out the sides of a family, school, team, business, community into provocative conversations on social media, in the parking lot, around the water cooler, and elsewhere. When a group, organization or community goes negative, we generally know how it happened if we’re honest.
To build a sense of positive community, we must come together and create clear communication systems that facilitate timely sharing of important information and ongoing opportunities for people to constructively share their ideas and concerns — and to be heard. Also key: the group must support the high expectation that members will speak up in a positive way with the community in mind.
When a collective of human beings functions well together, we can feel it. The energy is positive. People speak freely because they feel safe. They feel safe because they can be themselves, with confidence. When a highly-functioning, positive group faces inevitable challenges, people deepen their understanding of each other and stick together, becoming stronger through their shared struggle.
When a group fails to function constructively, we feel that, too. The environment is toxic because people talk more about each other than they talk to each other. The distrust, discomfort and frustration is palpable, and the negative energy begins to take on a life of its own. Everyday challenges throw the group easily off course; and eventually it falls apart.
This week, let’s take an honest look in the mirror. Let’s ask ourselves what kind of energy we bring to and see within our family, school, team, business and community.
If we’re in a positive, upstanding community, let’s celebrate it!
If we’re not, let’s find our +Voices, get the undiscussables on the table, and work together to change it.
And let’s remember all the while that our children are watching. And they’re learning from us.