Making a community feel a part of something special is impossible. It takes time, there is no clear formula to follow and
Some things however are proven to engender a sense of community amongst relatively disparate groups of people.
- Common enemies. Having an enemy is a great way to unite a community. It’s easy for Greenpeace, but who is your enemy?
- Common goals. Freeing 33 trapped Chilean miners is a great way to unite a community. People feel they participate in it.
- Being attacked. This doesn’t have to be violent. Even verbal criticism can be counted as an attack. Ever seen sports/music fans/political supporters rally together to defend themselves against an attack?
- Fear. There is a difference between being directly attacked and there being a threat. Fear is proven to unite groups. Sometimes in good ways, often in bad ways. You can use the good. Fear of failure. Fear of letting others down. Fear of being overtaken by a competitor etc…
- Clear insider/outsider divide. When there is a sharp contrast between insiders and outsiders, the insiders unite stronger. 5 Londoners who wouldn’t talk on the tube, probably would speak on the Beijing underground.
- Great achievements. Achieving something remarkable bonds a group together, especially if they feel part of it. Getting your guy elected. Being featured on a local newspaper. Hitting a major milestone. Achievements create pride.
- Shared experiences. One of the strongest elements, is shared experiences. If we go through something, good, bad, boring together, we’re going to be closer. Attending events, enduring long commutes, any experience shared with a group of people bonds you closer to them.
You don’t need to worry if you have several of these in your community. You do need to worry if you don’t have any.