Wanting to build stronger communities doesn’t have to be laborious. In an environment conducive to communicating, having fun, and working together, teams can build themselves naturally. I have three tips to share with anyone who wants to add some flare to their communities. Most of these things happen naturally, and none of them take specific skills or extraneous effort. Follow these easy tricks to build stronger communities with no artificiality, guaranteed.
Create a playlist.
Music is one surefire way of connecting people. Put on a Top 40s playlist before a meeting begins to start conversations, to get people singing along, and to ease any awkward silences. If you’re in a closed-in setting like a car (perhaps for a 12-hour road trip to Virginia for Alternative Break), figure out someone’s favorite band and start a Spotify radio station based on it. Radio apps allow variety in music while sticking to one genre, keeping things interesting but still familiar enough. Pay attention to moods, too. If you’re hosting a sports-themed meeting, find a pump-up playlist rather than something mellow. Although it’s a small touch, music can improve moods, set the tone, and build relationships. Music is one way to build stronger communities without anything you don’t already have downloaded on your phone.
Go shopping together.
Do you have to make sure 13 people are fed two out of the three meals per day on your week-long service learning trip? Do you need supplies in order to make your club’s member appreciation week a success? You’re definitely going to need to go shopping, and you should definitely bring somebody with you. From racing carts to finding the most ridiculous items that you just need to get, stores provide innumerable opportunities for silliness, connection, and fun. Taking someone with you on a shopping trip can make them feel like they have insider knowledge, boosting their respect for you and their feelings of attachment to the community. The next time you need to pick something up for a program, ask if someone on your team wants to tag along.
Record all things hilarious.
Did someone on your team just say something so ridiculous that it needs to be recorded for the rest of time? This is where having a quotes board comes in handy. Swift Kick is great at this kind of community building. Having something you said make its way onto the quotes board is like earning a badge of honor. Quotes boards turn team memes into team memories, and they have practical applications, too. Give a certificate of recognition to the person who ended up on the quotes board the most at the end of the year. If you missed a situation that resulted in a particularly hilarious quote, ask for the story to break the ice at your next meeting. However you recognize your people, having a quotes board can make remembering the good times even easier.
Sometimes the little things have big results! Following these tips takes little effort and can have great effects on team relationships.