The power of community

I hope you are having a fulfilling week so far. I’m noticing a collective sense of action at the moment – that gearing up to the festive break vibe where everyone is in doing mode. I went to Waitrose yesterday to pick up a lovely John Lewis treat for us in our new home and I encountered a lady customer with festive angst. She was stood about two inches away from my face huffing and puffing because she wasn’t being attended to quickly enough. She left the shop, after muttering ‘how ridiculous’ this was and passive-aggressively picking up a festive food brochure. It was comical. I wondered what she was really pissed off about.

Anyway this week I’ve been thinking about community. Today we had our Bird Associates meeting where we reviewed what we’ve achieved so far this year and look ahead to what we want to create in 2018. The power of working as part of a community over going it alone is something I’ve really learned over the past year. I’m naturally a bit of a lone wolf, but I end up in my head too much when I only work alone. So as Bird has grown, I’ve been excited, inspired and energised to partner up with amazing coaches and facilitators to co-deliver Bird’s work.

It is believed that we become the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Often we end up being part of a community that we haven’t consciously designed, and so take on the perspectives and belief systems of people we actually may not fully align with. It happens in work places all the time. It’s therefore really important to find communities in which you feel connected, and feel like you can be really seen and heard, communities where there is resonance, and even dissonance, but a powerful dissonance. The danger lies in us spending too much time hanging out in communities that don’t move us at all.

When you have a community that you can feel really authentic and real within it feels like home. When you’re in that space it feels safer to take risks, to ask unusual questions, and to say the hard things that need to be said.

Seth Godin calls communities ‘tribes’, and talks passionately about the power of finding and thriving in your own. Here’s a bit of reading if you’re interested to learn more. 

It’s easy to believe your communities are ‘just the way they are’, but actually you can shape and choose and intuitively find those people that really bring you alive. Just like we have at Bird.

So, perhaps a thought for 2018 is to find your tribe, or if you’ve found your tribe, connect with them more, and more deeply.

With love, Hannah and The Bird Tribe

Photo by Daan Stevens on Unsplash

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