Learning the Principles of Community Building
A group of people do not become a genuine community easily or accidentally. There are certain principles which a group learns as they develop into a community. The most important reason for participation in a workshop is to learn these principles experientially. In order to share in the community building experience fully, here are some of the basic principles to familiarise yourself with:
A true community is inclusive, and its greatest enemy is exclusivity. Groups who exclude others because of religious, ethnic, or more subtle differences are not communities.
It is a rare feeling to feel completely safe, free to be ourselves, wholly accepted and acceptable. It is part of the community building work for the group to build such safety with one another, a place where it is safe to let our guard down, be completely vulnerable, completely ourselves. A great sense of freedom and love reign in this place. It is a fact, however, that the way there does not always feel safe – because, paradoxically, safety is built by letting go of [perceived] safety!
Please commit to staying for the entire experience. When individuals leave or withdraw because of difficulties building community, they deprive the group of their unique talents and insights. Be prepared to persevere through periods of frustration, anxiety, and even despair. Such periods are normal as part of the community building process.
Participation takes many forms. Speaking is not required; non-verbal participation can be as powerful as other forms. However, it is important to be attentive and involved.
Confidentiality is an essential measure of respect for participants in the group and helps to create a safe environment.
be on time for all seminar sessions as part of your commitment to