Building an Effective Community "Team" & Shared Vision: The Importance of Communication and Inevitability of Disagreement

The world is a complex place. Two people experience the same event and yet interpret it very differently. Moving beyond single events to thinking about what should be done to make a better world and how a community can work together leads to a myriad of different conclusions or intuititions.


How do we get past these differences? There's no single answer, but here's a process for moving forward. First, though, each person needs to agree to do his or her best to be:

  • Open to the possibility of not having the full picture, of being wrong.
  • Tolerant of differences in viewpoint, even when strongly and unpleasantly stated.
  • Open to experiment. "Fail early and fail often," is a slogan of people working on social innovation.

    Most of us are in a hurry -- to get things done, to make more money, to watch the football game, whatever. But many of us have also had the experience of being parents, teachers, coaches, or served on nonprofit organization boards and seen firsthand how change is often a painfully slow process. One must be patient, take things one step at a time, win trust, gain shared experiences, learn from each other, understand each other's values. All of this helps to build a base of shared understanding and vision, goodwill and trust needed to work together.

    There are a number of models and organizations that have tools to facilitate this process:


  • Added 05/12/2010 by asblackwood


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