Five signs of healthy community

Five-signs-of-healthy-community

‘Community’ is a buzz word at the moment, but what does it really mean? Another word for it is ‘connection’—how we connect with other people, and how this connects us with the world. Brené Brown has said, “Connection is why we're here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”

So while ‘community’ and in essence, connection, is on trend (and could easily be long forgotten if ‘fleek’ makes a come back), it has always been an essential part of our wellbeing because it helps us to formulate our identity.

If you consider every group you have been a part, be it a family, work place, a group of friends or a sports club, you can trace the impact it’s had on your identity. Positive or negative, community gives us meaning and helps us to find direction in life.

From the extrovert who is never alone to the recluse who avoids people at any cost, our behaviour directly relates to our past experiences of community. And after trust is broken or we experience a crisis in our lives, we begin to question the true nature of the community we belong to.

Is it healthy?

Is this community harming me?

Do I even want to belong to this community?

And, can I make my community healthy?

Even though these questions can be confronting, they are vital to nurture your wellbeing. Answering them begins with understanding what a healthy community actually looks like. Here are five signs your community is a nurturing and healthy environment.

  1. It is authentic

If ‘community’ is a buzzword, then ‘authentic’ is it’ cousin. Healthy community doesn’t take place without a group of people committed to being fearlessly authentic and vulnerable. That means there are no hidden agendas, people don’t feel they have to lie or make excuses, people feel free to talk about their ups and downs, and acceptance is shown for one another, whatever a member of that community is going through.

Authentic community is challenging, and even the healthiest will have to continuously work at it. However, a good indicator you’ve found this is when you walk away feeling validated, known and understood.

  1. It is inclusive

Forget these exclusive cliques that are created at high school and roll into adult hood, a thriving community is known for welcoming others in to its fold. So while a community is formed on common interests or relationship, it is built on different personalities, ages, ethnicities, genders, sexual preferences and religions.

Each community group will naturally skew towards a certain type of people depending on where it is located and other environmental factors, but it’s willingness to accept all others is what makes it healthy.

  1. It is outward focused

A healthy community will nurture its members. Often, this occurs through group outings, activities and celebrations. However, those that thrive take this a step further and empower its members to be outward focused.

This means members are so energised by their belonging to the group, they actively invite and inform outsiders about it. Political or religious group are the obvious examples of this—members will often tell other people about their ideals or activities and provide their point-of-view about key societal issues their group has a stance on.

However, this outward focus can also be subtler. A friend might invite you to a party and all their work colleagues are there. Someone just started a great new health program, and they talk about it all the time on social media and encourage you to join. Or they look for opportunities to support other communities to benefit the greater good.

A healthy community digs deep and nurtures one another so it can extend this same bond to the outside world. Find a community that does this, and you’re on to something good.

  1. Members accept one another

Acceptance is different to inclusion, because it involves actively doing life beside people who are different from you. It goes further than inclusion, because through it others are given a home and we invest in each other.

Accepting people in your community is easy when we are like-minded. Many of us will feel a kinship with other members because of a common bond and interest. However, when we disagree about things—be it politics, religion, how to raise children or another member’s actions, things can fall apart very easily.

A healthy community is willing to listen and learn from one another, even when members disagree on things. Instead of taking offence, they respond with empathy and love.

  1. It supports members and keeps them accountable

Seeing a family member on the holidays is well and good, but what happens when they come to you with no place to live? What do you say to your friend at the gym when their marriage has just broken down, and how do you respond when a friend wrongs another friend, seemingly against the principles your whole community is built on?

Healthy community isn’t easy, and we see this when its members make mistakes or are in crisis. When one person falls, a healthy community will do all they can to pick that member up, be it through a coffee, a frozen meal or a roof over their head.

This is complicated when a member has actively broken your trust—for instance, by cheating on their partner, using all their money to fund an addiction or manipulating a friend. There is no one solution to this scenario. Some communities try to reconcile its members, others separate and many will ostracise that member until it’s clear they no longer ‘belong’.

A healthy community will do all it can to understand and empathise with the member who has ‘failed’ and help them to recover without compromising their values. However, they will also protect and support the people the member has directly affected.

Ideally, a healthy community will see the warning signs that a member is struggling or beginning to compromise their principles, and help that person get back on track before anything major happens. This is why accountability is essential to a healthy community—it not only helps members to reach their goals, it also keeps them from falling.

Do you want to find a healthy community? Would you like to learn how to better connect with other people? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.

Five Steps to Prepare For a Job interview

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With a New Year, we often feel the need to ‘shake up’ our lives a little bit. Are you unhappy with your current job? Have you resolutely decided that in 2016 you’ll find employment? I know that the job hunt can be difficult and tiring –in fact I’ve just come out of it. Often the most challenging part comes when you step into the interview room and are grilled about your qualifications, personal attributes and ability to work with an already established team.

So how can you prepare for a job interview? Now that I’ve been through the process, I have some idea of the strategies you can put in place to impress your perspective employer and manage your own stress. Here are five steps to help you prepare for a job interview.

  1. Know the workplace inside out

There is a plethora of information about your future workplace right at your fingertips and your interviewers want you to know it. Read back through the advertisement, taking note of the skills, expectations and attributes needed for the job.

Browse the company website, making sure you have a sound knowledge of their mission and values. Even brush up on the history of the workplace and get an idea of their unique voice and how their message is portrayed. You need to embody this message, so allow your knowledge to inform how you answer questions.

  1. Dress for success

I know it’s cliché, but dressing in business attire really does make all the difference on a job interview. Trim you beard, style your hair and shower. Select clothing that is suitable like dress pants, a nice skirt or a tie. Clothing doesn’t have to be expensive, in fact you probably have something in the cupboard you can pull out and dust off. If you do need some nice shoes or a dress shirt, retail stores like Kmart or Target have some inexpensive options that will show your future employers you mean business.

  1. Practice your questions and answers

One of the reasons people struggle with interviews is because they are full of unknowns. We have no idea what the panel will ask or what they expect of us. The best way to overcome anxiety about this is to consider potential questions they may ask you and write down any questions you want to ask them. Think about the work environment and job description to formulate rough answers to questions.

Chances are they will ask:

-What you know about the company,

-For an example of when you worked through conflict,

-To discuss your strengths and weaknesses,

-and what specific skills you have for the position.

  1. Calm yourself

Interviews are stressful and if you struggle with anxiety the process can become even harder. The morning of your interview give your self plenty of time to prepare. Have your clothes ironed and set out the night before and check how long it will take you to travel to the workplace. Little details like having enough petrol to drive there and knowing the bus schedule will make all the difference.

Set yourself about 15 minutes before you leave to simply sit and practice your deep breathing. Recite a mantra to yourself such as “I am enough” and then arrive at the destination with time to spare. By doing this, you remain in control of the situation and are calm and centred when you enter the interview room.

  1. Fake it ‘till you make it

Let’s be clear, it is never a good idea to lie about your qualifications or experience on a job interview! There comes a time though, when you need to put your game face on and show your prospective employers you are the ideal candidate for the position. You will feel nervous and shaky, but speak with a confidence and ease that shows them you are competent.

Be genuine and keep eye contact with them through the process, shaking their hands confidently when you enter and leave. Pretend to be assured, because when you do this they will see the positive qualities you will bring to the job.

Do you need support as you look for a job? Duncan is a business coach and mentor who will help you define your goals. Contact him on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. If you are ready to book an appointment with Duncan, click the icon BOOK ONLINE NOW and you will be taken to his online appointment calendar, and follow the prompts.

4 Benefits of Professional Supervision

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Are you in a leadership position in your profession?

Where do you discuss your ideas, debrief from a stressful day, analyse challenges and increase your self-awareness?

Are you uncertain of what to do next in your career?

Professional supervision provides you the opportunity to manage your situation through critical reflection and self-discovery. Here are 4 benefits I have discovered that come from receiving professional supervision.

1. You don’t have to do it on your own

In the professional world, it can often seem like you are on your own as everybody appears to be interested in looking after themselves. In my experience, supervision provides an external perspective on different situations. It allows me to step out of my inward thinking so I become more creative, I understand people more and I am able to develop strategies for improvement.

2. Supervision provides strategies and processes to deal with challenging situations and people.

Initially I  would only go to professional supervision when I found myself in a crisis. My supervisor was always able to help me to discover the answers and ways to navigate these situations positively. Eventually I realised that if I attended supervision regularly, I wouldn’t have as many crisis as my skill set increased.

professional-supervision

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3. Supervision can give you direction

Do you ever feel like you are going around in circles or stepping backwards in your day to day routine? Supervision can provide you with the direction required to get out of the mundane and to move forward with purpose and direction. So often we feel we have to do things on our own because of professional competitiveness; with professional supervision you will be assisted to discover your inner potential without fearing the vulnerability of the workplace.

4. Professional supervision provides you with a safe environment to debrief and vent regarding life and work.

Often the stressors of work can result in embarrassing behaviours, and we beat ourselves up for this. By accessing supervision and dealing with the causation of these comments and behaviours, you become better equipped to be more professional and in control.

If you would like to talk to Duncan about the possibility of Professional Supervision you can contact him on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. If you are ready to book an appointment with Duncan, click the icon BOOK ONLINE NOWand you will be taken to his online appointment calendar, and follow the prompts.