Community inspires me. I've just returned from the International Coach Federation conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. This year 1200 coaches attended. I was overwhelmed by the sense of community within such a diverse and large group of individuals. And that's the point. Community honors and encourages diversity.
We've all heard how important networking is to our personal and professional lives. But networking has always left me feeling like something is missing. Networking, while an opportunity, feels like an opportunity to prove or show. It has that expectation of a benefit. Networking is about what I do. I find a resistance to promote myself in networking situations.
To me, community goes a little deeper. Community is an opportunity to be. It's more about who I am. It's more authentic and opens up conversation and dialogue that is not present in a networking situation. Community gives me permission to more fully express myself, make mistakes and learn from them. Once the element of community has been established, then a safe place is created to celebrate my diversity. We enter community because we choose to do more to enrich our lives. It's just more fun when you play within community.
“The promise of dialogue is that a small group of people might do something that impacts the world.” ~William Isaacs
“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved—loved for ourselves or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” ~Victor Hugo
“If they could only take me as I am.” ~Vincent Van Gogh
“Flatter me, and I may not believe you.
Criticize me, and I may not like you.
Ignore me, and I may not forgive you.
Encourage me, and I may not forget you.”
~William A. Ward
“About all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some won't like you at all.” ~Rita Mae Brown