True Community

M. Scott Peck taught that whether by accident or by design community happens in four distinct stages.
  1. PSEUDO COMMUNITY - Talk but not honest. Here is where people say “How are you doing”, but just keep walking.
  2. CHAOS - Lots of Talk, and everyone needs to be heard. But there is no desire for healing, just talking. Here is where most attempts fall. Few groups get out of the Chaos phase.
  3. EMPTINESS - Free to tell you how they hurt. And people in the room share their journey. This is the vulnerability that creates community. Here is where trust is built.
  4. COMMUNITY - Where one believes you won’t hurt them intentionally. You are free to both speak and listen. You understand that Honesty without Compassion equals Cruelty; but yet Compassion without Honesty equals Co-Dependence. Community is Honest and Compassionate.
Community is a group of individuals who have learned how to communicate honestly with each other, whose relationships go deeper than their masks of composure, and who have developed some significant commitment to “rejoice together, mourn together,” and to “delight in each other, to make others’ conditions their own.”

The Five Dysfunctions of Community

There are five dysfunctions that will sabotage all community efforts.
  1. Absence of Trust
  2. Fear of Conflict
  3. Lack of Commitment
  4. Avoidance of Accountability
  5. Inattention to Results
If you want to achieve community, you have to ask yourself these five questions:
  1. The Readiness Question
    1. Are We Prepared for Relationships?
  2. The Connection Question
    1. Are We Willing to Focus on Others?
  3. The Trust Question
    1. Can We Build Mutual Trust?
  4. The Investment Question
    1. Are We Willing to Invest in Others?
  5. The Synergy Question
    1. Can We Create Win-Win Relationships?
Last, but not least, please allow me one more story. A story that describes true community.