The Influencer's Simple Guide to Social Restoration
In almost all of my experiences with organization and community building, the need to shift focus from problem to possibility comes up repeatedly. Prevention and health promotion need more attention while we remain vigilant with crisis response. The greatest prevention was and always will be healthy social connection. Belonging is the shared experience of social connection. To bring the elements of prevention and belonging together, I created a tool called KNOTS. This simple tool looks upstream for the individual and then opens doors for that person to invest their identity in ways that bring them deep satisfaction and meaning. It relies on an interdependent synergy of giving and receiving. And it uses story to spread the contagion of connection as a new norm for our culture. In short, KNOTS is the answer to the problem of disconnection that focuses on the upstream need for prevention and health promotion.
Know yourself: What are the most powerful characteristics of your character in your story? What are your perspectives, resources, passions, and natural tendencies? How much extra time and energy do you have?
Notice others: pay attention to what’s going on around you. Not everywhere, but in your particular circles of influence. You will notice when opportunities arise that might benefit from your participation.
Offer what you have: This is a mix of Know and Notice. When you identify an opportunity, if you have something to offer that might help, do so. There is a trick to this one though. You can’t offer what you don’t have. It’s like a governor to protect you from overextending yourself. The next step extends this thought.
Take what you need: Be humble enough to realize that if you are offering, others are too. That means that sometimes you’re going to be on the receiving end. When this happens, don’t resist, be grateful. This is where the resources you need when it’s your turn to offer come from.
Share the story: Finally, when this exchange happens, it’s a story that needs telling. This kind of exchange is what healthy communities are made of. Since culture is defined and sustained by story, we need to share ours. Sharing is different than telling. It speaks of a mutuality and building something together - the story of “how we do it here.”
I write semi-regularly about belonging, storytelling, community building,