Whether you want to start a club or just meet new people, building a community can be difficult. However, with time and patience, you can build a community on your own. Start by establishing the basics. Determine what people need and how to build a community that meets that need. Bring members together by introducing like-minded people and hosting events. Maintain a strong community by encouraging people to be nice to each other and be around.
Part 1 of 3: Establish the Basics
Step 1. Determine what people need
People join a community for a reason. They need something that provides the social support and networking present in a community. If you want to create a community, think about people's needs and how to meet them.
- Where do you want to create a community? At work? At school? In your neighborhood?
- What do people in these places need that is missing? Think of a missing niche that a community can provide.
- Perhaps the people at your work tend to be very reserved due to the long hours of homework. They may need to feel more camaraderie with their coworkers. You can create a community based on a specific social event. For example, maybe you can start a board game club for people to interact outside of work.
Step 2. Look for shared connections
Emotional connections help bring people together. In a community, it is important to share that connection with others. Think about the things you share with the people around you. What are the common emotions or experiences they have? Focus on this as you work on building a community.
- Think about the things you have shared with those around you. People often come together for a unique experience or sensation to them. Observe the people you want to contact and ask yourself what they have shared and what they have in common.
- For example, you may want to create a community in your residence at the university. All of your fellow students may be away from home for the first time. Everyone is likely to experience feelings like loneliness, fear, and anxiety. Encourage people to share these emotions. This can cultivate a sense of community.
Step 3. Pick the right leaders
Good leaders are vital to a community. As you gather members or form a group or club, identify people who can be leaders. Choose to choose those who show qualities of a good leader in power.
- Leaders have to keep the group in check and let members know when they get out of control. Therefore, honesty is important. Find someone who can tactfully address bad behaviors.
- Communication skills are also very important. Find a leader who is easy to talk to and who conveys information well.
- Leaders must be confident. Find someone who is confident and is not afraid to speak up.
- Find someone who is committed. Pick someone you can count on to attend meetings day after day.
Step 4. Set symbols
A symbol seems simple, but community members are often linked by symbols that help them identify with the community. Notice how people who love certain sports take pride in the team logo and color. Think of some kind of symbol, color, or inside joke for the community to come together.
For example, if you have a weekly trivia night at work, a good idea is to have team colors that everyone should wear
Part 2 of 3: Gain Members for the Community
Step 1. Have standards for membership
While standards sound somewhat exclusive, they are a way to cultivate a sense of belonging. The goal is to bring together people with similar goals, opinions, and perspectives. Think about the type of members your community needs and how to set strict standards.
- What are the limits for your community? How do people become part of the community and how do you make it unique in some way?
- Limits are often related to a sense of emotional security. For example, if you create a community for college students, you might be able to make it only for college students. In this way, people will not feel uncomfortable sharing their feelings about matters unique to being a student.
- In addition, it establishes requirements for personal dedication. If you want the community to thrive, people must be dedicated. For example, if you start a book club, make a rule that you can only miss a certain number of matches.
Step 2. Gather like-minded people
Look for people with the same views and opinions. You can create a scattered community by identifying people with similar wants, needs, and feelings and introducing them. Find people who fit into your community and try to get them to join.
For example, imagine you want to create a community of friends at work. If you know an accounting person with the same sense of humor as someone in sales, invite them to have a drink with you after work
Step 3. Organize events
Community members come together through shared experiences. Bring people together to celebrate, socialize and interact. This can cultivate a sense of community and help you find more members.
For example, if it's someone's birthday at your residence, have everyone come out to celebrate the occasion
Step 4. Strive to generate meaningful conversations
Strong social connections between members are important in any community. By dating other people, you promote meaningful connections. Avoid small talk and get people to open up to each other.
Sometimes certain activities can promote meaningful conversations. Imagine that you are a teacher and you want to create a strong community for a creative writing class. Instead of planning a conventional icebreaker activity, have everyone share something a little more personal, like their first memory
Part 3 of 3: Keeping Your Community Strong
Step 1. Make decisions together
Each group will undergo changes. Since you need to make decisions, organize meetings where everyone can have a say. Have some kind of system for making decisions together. For example, everyone can share their opinion and then vote.
For example, if you organize a book club, allow everyone to share their ideas regarding which book they will read next time
Step 2. Drive away bad people
Unfortunately, communities often attract negative members. To maintain a strong community, pay attention to people who are disliked by others or who just don't fit into the dynamic. If someone causes trouble or drama, you can politely let them know that they are no longer welcome in the community.
- For example, if someone who attends book club is always late and rude to others, it is okay to stop them.
- You can say something like, "I'm sorry, but people aren't comfortable with your presence because you can't seem to prioritize this right now."
Step 3. Allow participation to be equal
Communities must have a space where everyone can share. In a community, it is important to encourage everyone to participate equally. Make sure everyone has a say in decision-making and that no one feels left out.
For example, in the context of a classroom, don't call the same students over and over again. Encourage students who are often very shy to raise their hands and speak
Step 4. Share your emotions
If you are the one who wants to create a community, people must feel close to you. To promote a feeling of closeness, be open with your feelings and emotions. When encouraging others to share personal things, always be willing to share in return.
For example, if you ask someone how they feel about a new stressor at work, be willing to share your emotions as well. A new boss or a change in company policy can be stressful, so be willing to share your personal experiences with stress
Step 5. Be nice to the members
Make sure people in your community feel valued. Doing kind little things for members will help keep the community strong over time. It will also remind people of the benefits of being part of a community.