How To Make Others Feel A Part Of Something Much Bigger
When times feel uneasy, it is better to be a part of something than it is to feel on your own, trying to figure it out yourself.
When you are seen and embraced with your place in a group, you become a part of something so much bigger. You become part of a collective effort, where it all connects.
In this article let me share what it means, how it works and what starts to happen. Being a part of something is what pulls people together. Realising it is the hard part.
What Does It Mean to Be Part Of Something Much Bigger?
Community means the ability to reach up and out to others.
I like this sentiment from Robert Da Costa, “If you have a community, you’re not only a part of something, but it’s a way to surround ourselves by a group of other industry colleagues, experts and mentors who can guide us.”
When you know you are with others in the same space you never need to be alone. This is completely different from spending your life on a social media channel thinking the likes and comments you gain are going to mean someone will be there when you need them the most.
Being a part of something much bigger starts when you put your flag in the sand and you know where you want to go, with other people alongside you. It’s driven by hope, vision, belief and attachment.
A starting point is to think about what is a common cause to bring people together and where people choose to share.
Why Is It Important?
Businesses don’t pull others together to have a personal attachment, people do.
You have the tools around you to communicate (online or offline, social), you have ways to keep people updated (newsletter or private groups) and you have the drive to keep people motivated (the core message). Seth Godin said, ‘You have everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself.’
That is a huge opportunity to create spaces where the right people feel welcome and the group drives it forwards. The beauty is, it doesn’t have to be manipulated by the dominance of an owner where you take up a tiny piece of land. You are finding ways to connect people and bring these tiny islands together.
Communicating with others shouldn’t be challenging. It just needs to be genuine and with meaning. Whether someone is going through a dark period or where they are on a roll, it goes with an understanding of each other and recognising that others have made the same choice to stick around.
This is why feeling a part of something bigger is so important today. You can look around, familiarity kicks in and what started as a solitary step into a new space becomes a part of a collective effort.
Let Me Share What I Mean
When people come together, they create something far more impactful. Here are two examples:
YATM Creator Lab
This initiative with Bournemouth & Poole College (Spring/Summer 2022) was introduced to draw attention to young adults and to encourage them to find their voice and have a platform to share and people to notice. The ultimate goal is to support them with their steps into employment from education.
Being part of something bigger was not to deliver the programme and stop when completed, but to welcome the group into the YATM community. This began with a close to the Lab where everyone graduated and now opportunities to participate and join in are being embraced. Ben Eggington from the Creator Lab presented at the recent Lunch Club, in Bristol, on his transition from college to employment.
This is what it means when there is a ready platform made for people to step into, rather than thinking they have to wait for their turn.
This is our new digital campfire for people to gather around. The goal is not a continuous slog for more people, but to be at home with the right people. The YATM Club is our space for people who embrace an audience-first approach to grow their business. It’s a way for the group to learn together, discuss, and share.
The YATM Club is a way to acknowledge that the community does not have geographical boundaries and whilst in-person events can be limiting for some, particularly for people outside the UK, this is a way to congregate. All video events will now be on this platform. If you’d like to join in (it will become a paid membership in 2023), read more and join us here.
It’s Small Steps, All The Time
To make something that feels much bigger than the sum of its parts, it’s one small step, all the time. When it works a world of opportunity is available.
YATM only grows because of the gradual steps it makes with the people who walk together.
Here is what I now know when it comes to creating something for others to feel a part of something much bigger.
People know they are not alone
When working with young adults in the YATM Creator Lab, they were given the encouragement to create and share. They all knew others were cheering them on, rather than the trepidation and fear of opening up. When people know they are with others in the same space, it doesn’t feel as daunting.
People can see others and are seen themselves.
It feels good when someone else says, ‘I’m a part of this too.’ It helps people make that link with the fact they are in the right place with like-minded people, rather than hoping to be heard but rarely listened to.
‘We made this’ not ‘I made this.’
When everything is on one person, the reward/feedback/attention is in one direction. When it becomes an activity that others are involved in, there comes a collective responsibility. That in itself is powerful.
Knowing what it takes for people to belong.
If you can figure out how to move an audience to the next stage of being a part of a community, where people belong, is becoming a serious business approach. It just depends on how much you are prepared to give, test and tune in. Read create a space for people to belong.
It encourages wider/deeper connections to each other.
Meeting someone new that is outside of your immediate group can help grow meaningful relationships. You never know when that moment to progress and cement the tie-in can grow. What it does is help people focus and improve their efforts as well as that sense of security that someone else isn’t going to let them down.
Maslow was right all along.
When you feel a part of something more substantial, it becomes motivating. Being a part of something goes beyond the basic needs of knowing that decisions were made or collecting information, but to encourage a positive and rewarding experience. When this happens, it reinforces the reasons to commit and encourages togetherness.
When people know they are part of something much bigger it provides so much in return. It could be ideas, inspiration, problem sharing, fun and knowing others are with you. It’s where achievements are magnified and nothing ever feels in isolation.
The best thing is that organisations don’t drive this, it is people. The goal is to bring like-minded people together so that everyone nurtures and feels rewarded as part of an engaged community.
It doesn’t need to be perfect, it always needs work which is why you always have to push forwards and tinker. When you embrace simplicity and shared understanding, people can look around and know they are always in the right place, with others.