Committees, where volunteers burn out faster than with paid work
A great idea is born, a group of dedicated humans get together to take action, providing something the community needs. Community volunteering and socialising via committee groups contributes to people’s sense of belonging. Have you ever moved to a new town or city? Where to best meet new friends? Go to a club. Not a night club. A sport club. A garden club. A community workshop. Any volunteer group. Getting stuff done together is powerful for mental health.
A committee has obligations. Meetings need to be arranged, an agenda and reports need to be circulated, minutes need to be taken, financial records need to be transparent and accountable, major decisions need to show integrity to the cause. It’s easy to shrug off these roles, but the long-term action can only happen when the group is set up properly. There are many different approaches to community groups. Not every group needs a legal structure, but every group needs an operating structure. When everyone knows their role and how to do it, the group will function better. So the group can make more impact in the community for the greater good.
The prosocial process works with 8 core design principles for the efficacy as groups, as set out by Elinor Ostrom (who received a nobel price in economics for this research). I apply it when helping groups that need better processes.
Sociocracy, also known as Dynamic Self-Governance or simply Dynamic Governance is a perfect governance system for committees. It means the group self-governs based on the values of equality. Everyone’s voice is heard, consensus is by no objections. Proposals are reworked until there are no objections.
Nonviolent Communication is the integration of 4 things:
Consciousness: A set of principles that support living a life of compassion, collaboration, courage, and authenticity.
Language: Understanding how words contribute to connection or distance.
Communication: Knowing how to ask for what you want, how to hear others even in disagreement, and how to move forward towards solutions that work for all.
Means of influence: Sharing “power with others” rather than using “power over others”.
Make a time to find out more.