The Art of Community | Community Psychology and How It Impacts Business | Blog | Temi Cloud
The Art of Community | Community Psychology and How It Impacts Business
Published on : 04/2/2022

What is so exciting about opening a door and seeing like-minded people around you? What gives us, people, the feeling of safety and belonging? 

Communities often foster us and create environments we feel the safest and understood. The sense of community can be explained by personal experiences and feelings, but we prefer to dive deep into the psychology of community to explain how the sense of community can be so impactful.

We often think of psychology as unique to individuals. Yet we can also extrapolate the field of psychology and its principles to the realm of community. Community, defined simply, commonly refers to a group of people inhabiting the same area. Yet it can also mean “a feeling of fellowship with others.” 

In his book, The Art of Community: Seven Principles for Belonging, Charles H. Vogl talks about the shaping of community, and how it impacts our daily lives, families, and work-life. 

Communities do not exist without shared values

This is thus a fundamental element that keeps people together, for without shared beliefs and practices, communities would never even come to exist. And for communities that lose their shared values, they are in grave danger of falling apart.

In the world of business, it is imperative to understand the values that tie together our given community. By properly assessing and incorporating these values, we can strengthen our bond to our community and organically improve many aspects of our business. 

It is important to stay nimble and continually assess these shared values. As a community changes—for example, becoming more tolerant of certain groups—it behooves the business’ leadership to follow suit or else risk alienating the community. 

Rituals shape and strengthen communities

Communities depend on rituals to help strengthen the bond created by shared values. Rituals both produce and reinforce meaning and create a sense of solidarity within the community. These activities generally have a certain form or structure that is itself imbued with meaning that the ritual depends on.

For leaders in business, it is fundamental to recognize the role of rituals in your community. Let’s say, for example, that a large religious community in your area does not go out to eat on Sundays. If you are a restaurant and most of your clientele adheres to this ritual, then it would be foolish to remain open on Sundays. Understanding and catering to community rituals thus benefit your business both culturally and economically. 

Stories bring people together 

Stories, or put another way, narratives, are another fundamental aspect of the community. The narratives that a given community tells pass along and reinforce the shared values and rituals that help bind the community together. The ability to tell one’s own stories also helps empower individuals and enables them to feel a stronger connection to the community at large.

As a business leader, sharing your own story will help your community relate to you. For example, if you started your business all on your own with all the odds against you, sharing this story will help common people relate to your struggles and, by extension, your business. The narrative is a fundamental aspect of human existence and a powerful way of both building community and connecting to it in a deeper way. 

The principles of the community touched on here are only scratching the surface, but they give you a sense of how fundamental the art of community is to the world of business. To have an impact on your community and simultaneously grow your business, an understanding of community—for example, the aforementioned concepts of shared values, rituals, and stories—is truly invaluable. 

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