Elements of Community
A community is described as a social group that not only shares an identity and structured pattern of interaction, but also a common geographical territory. When you are in a community, there are a few attributes that will make this community efficient and successful in achieving its goals. These attributes are communication, trust, participation, and teamwork. Having these three attributes will help the community in achieving success. According to Gardner, practicing the following eight elements allow for effective communities:
1. Wholeness incorporating diversity
2. A shared culture
3. Good internal communication
4. Caring, trust, and teamwork
5. Group maintenance and governance
6. Participation and shared leadership tasks
7. Development of young people (or new members)
8. Links with the outside world
I have been able to analyze the elements of a community in my organization – UH golf team. After the quick analysis, it has shown me how and why we succeed or fail to meet our agenda.
Wholeness and incorporating diversity can be seen in the vast differences in people on my team. Not only are we all from different areas of the world (Australia, Colombia, Hong Kong, and Hawaii), we have very different lives and were only brought together by one common interest – golf. With the diversity within our team, we have been able to learn from each other and grow as members and leaders. The diversity of our background has given each and one of us a piece of the team, and without one piece of a team, we do not feel whole. We have thus created a team bond that gives us a feeling of importance to our community.
Our shared culture is in our identities as student-athletes at the University of Hawaii. By having this shared culture, we are able to be empathetic towards one another and help when one is in need.
Good internal communication is key to a successful community. There was a time when we had to transition into a new coach and many team members found it difficult to cope, which caused a lot of tension as feelings and emotions were left unsaid. When we had a little intervention to sort these issues out, it made me realize that we cannot move on and achieve our desires or improve without getting things off your chest.
Caring, trust, and teamwork I feel are tied in with good communication. Good communication brings caring, trust, and teamwork.
Group maintenance and governance is the coach’s position on our team. The coach takes care of the politics behind the team. She is somewhat of a manager for us all. She controls the practice, the schedule, the road trips, hosts meetings, and the lot really! Without a coach, our team would have no agenda.
Participation and shared leadership tasks are the team members’ duties. All members need to show up to practice on time and when scheduled, otherwise our goals cannot be met. For example, our previous coach would not attend all practices, which left the team with no drive to practice for a reason. Our team felt that if the coach did not participate, why should the rest of us.
The development of young people or new members is certainly one aspect that I have enjoyed to watch as I see my teammates grow into the young women they are. I have noticed that as we get older, we take more responsibilities and initiative. I had only started to notice this when the freshman come and I realized how young and naïve they were compared to the rest of the returning players from other seasons.
Being apart of the UH women’s golf team has provided many links with the outside world. For example, I have met many important people in the golf community not only in Hawaii, but also mainland USA. I have increased my network base that will prove to be very useful in the near future. The most important person I have met through the golf team is John Solheim, owner of Ping. In the near future I hope to be sponsored by Ping for my future endeavors.
As you can see, after inputting Gardner’s eight elements in my community, I am able to recognize that without these elements, our agendas could be so easily jeopardized. The sooner one can recognize the community; the sooner you can practice the eight elements and succeed.
Signing out! Corie