I’ve recently been doing some geneological research and have been inspired while tracing back a few of our ancestors. There is something thrilling about that connection to a certain time, a certain place, and a certain community which can’t be overemphasized.

I was able to trace my daughters’ great, great, great, great grandparents back to Kemper, Mississippi in the 1800s. After reading through many historical documents and following in their footsteps, I have become inspired by their bravery, how much they went through, and their place in history and that moment in time.

The whole process underscored for me the importance of community. It’s critical for us as people, employers, leaders, and customers. There’s strength in numbers, and belonging to a community helps us develop our sense of identity. It also boosts our self esteem and makes us feel safer and more secure. When we are part of a community, we become better commmunicators and more successful as a whole. After all, as people, we are meant to be social and to be surrounded by others.

So, what can we do to help develop a strong community?

  1. Host get-togethers or events. This applies to both the workplace and your personal community. You can hold a block-party, celebration, dinner party, or luncheon. Whatever you desire, it will serve as an excuse to bring people together to hang out and get to know each other.
  2. Volunteer. Volunteering and helping others makes us feel good, and connected to the larger group of people in our community. You can launch a new charity or join one that is already active within your community. When people come together to help others, they feel a greater sense of belonging.
  3. Start a club. This can be a club that’s centered around an activity that you enjoy like Tennis or Wordle, or it can be more traditional like a book club or cultural group. Creating these clubs helps us connect with those we have something in common with, and allows us to forge deeper bond.
  4. Introduce shared learning experiences. When we learn together, we grow together. This can be extremely beneficial in the workplace where we need to lean on and help each other on a daily basis. Shared learning experiences allow us to create a much stronger and more effective team.
  5. Create emotional connections. By building rapport and getting to know each other on a deeper level, we create a stronger community. This can be accomplished at work by having daily check-ins to catch up with each other or by stopping and talking with our neighbors.
  6. Foster a sense of belonging. Whether at work or in our town, we can help people feel like they belong to our community. This can be achieved by showing that we care, and welcoming newcomers to our group.
  7. Take time for socialization. We are so busy, particularly with increased technology, that it’s vital to take time out for conversation, laughter, and having fun.
  8. Storytelling. When we tell stories, we bond together and become a part of that story. Storytelling is often used by brands, leaders, and families, to emphasize a shared history and solidify relationships.
  9. Mentoring and coaching. There are many opportunities in our communities to coach and mentor others, and to have others coach and mentor us. When we lift others up, we lift our entire community in the process.
  10. Establishing traditions. This is something that I have been very mindful to do with my children, our family, and our friends. It has enabled us to have to establish stronger attachments.
  11. Celebrations. When we celebrate ourselves and others, we are making more than one person a part of the victory. In this manner, we win as a group instead of as individuals, and that’s the way that it should be.