Building a trusting community

When you’re not doing your best work, it’s good to question your intent and motivation. To vow to get better organized so you can get more done. To study your habits and think of ways to break bad ones and start new ones. To get healthier so you can focus better.

But if you’re doing all that and still aren’t feeling charged up and on “a path”, take a look at your community. You’re a plant trying to grow. How’s the soil, the sun, and the water where you are?

In Thank You For Being Late,” Thomas Friedman writes that when people feel “protected, respected, and connected,” the outcome is a community that fosters trust and belonging.

  • When people trust each other, they’re more likely to share ideas and personal insights.
  • When you’re with a group you trust, you have their back and trust that they have your back.
  • In a trusting community, you feel safe taking chances and can wander a bit to find the path to your best work.
  • In a trusting community, you know that if you fail, someone will catch you, help you laugh it off, and support you when you try again.
  • In a trusting community, the golden rule is pretty much the only rule – if you don’t want something done to you, don’t do it to others.

If you want your little plant-self to grow, being part of a community of trust is vital.

Do you have a trusting community at work, within your community, or among your friends and family?

If you don’t, you can start over with a new group.

Or you can think about the type of community you want to be in and help make that happen. Can you be more open to new ideas? Be more supportive of the people you’re closest to? Reach out and embrace the immigrant, the stranger, and the loner and bring them into the fold? Can you be the co-worker you dream of having? The best boss? The best worker? The best friend?

Can you approach life with a generous, kind, and open heart, soul, and hands?

As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,”

This isn’t easy work. It isn’t quick. But, oh my, the payoff… 🙂

I spent the last few days in Boston with one of my trusted communities – NEMOA: the National Etailing and Mailing Organization of America. How can a business association be a trusting community? Through years of hard work, old friends, an open door to new associates and new ideas. And fun. Here’s a shot from a run yesterday morning in “Southie”.

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