In order to tweak my model and build my brand, I took on four Research & Development projects with local organizations. This wonderful group of brave souls agreed to work with me and to provide feedback.
They are representatives of the Diabetes Canada Professional Section Chapter South East NB along with an honorary member, Wayne Gillis. I worked with these leaders who, when the program was completed, would carry on the work of community building with the larger membership.
We met for three evening sessions for about ninety minutes each.
Here are Testimonials, comments from the feedback forms, and a link to the results of the “before” and “after” surveys.
Lori, I appreciate you including me in this! This was something that was most definitely out of my comfort zone but I felt very comfortable to discuss share with the group. You made me (and I do believe everyone at the table) more open and able to discuss personal situations by you being open and willing to share your life (good and bad).
After sharing and listening to the group I had an immediate and deeper connection with everyone at the table.
It was interesting and reassuring to know that everyone has many of the same insecurities/problems and has successfully overcome them. It also showed me that everyone can have differences and be at different stages in life and still form a strong group. As long as you have a willingness to listen and have compassion a group can be formed regardless.
I have a deeper understanding of the dynamics of a group and looking back on groups I have entered (new job, school etc.) I can see the different stages (outlined in your book) that we have gone through.
A great experience with a very knowledgeable and open facilitator. The program that Lori offers (Community Building) is more important now than it ever was. For any organization, company, learning institution etc. wanting a build a stronger community this program is a must! I strongly recommend this to any group wishing to become a highly effective and cohesive group.
Wayne Gillis, Pharmaceutical Sales (NovoNordisk)
I had the chance to participate to this community building project given by Lori Gosselin with a great group of people who are part of Diabetes Care as I am. I didn’t realize, that deep down, I was a community builder all my life before attending these meetings. This changed me profoundly. The things that I’ve learned and experienced were new to me but turned out to be so rewarding in a personal and professional way. It changed my mindset on the vision of community building and how it can change so many lives. I realized how trying to seek all opportunities to create communities around us and sharing this way of living – of community building – can only improve relationships positively all around us.
Community building is not an easy thing to achieve, but the benefits at the end are by far greater than the work needed to change the way we approach one another. Everyone can make a difference in the lives of others.
Lori is so knowledgeable on this subject. She is an amazing person and was such a great guide to our group. She helped us develop our skills to become community builders and guided us to the path of creating a shift into community building in our group and in our lives. Community building is a way of life that everyone should take the time to look into. It’s a way to have more deeper and meaningful relationships among the members of any group. This can only result in better understanding of one another and the ability to work toward the same goal and accomplish so much more. I can already think of so many groups around me who could benefit so much from this project with the help of Lori. I am so happy that someone in our group introduced us to this project! Thanks Tammy!
Thank you Lori for sharing your passion of community building and for sharing your wonderful book with us “Sounding the Drum, Community Building in the Digital Age”. I really hope that others will follow this path as we did.
Nadia Murphy, I.I., B.Sc.Inf., ÉAD / RN, BScN, CDE, Infirmière / Nurse, Zone 1B
Lori’s workshop highighted some areas our group could define better. For example, we weren’t aware of our exact mission or purpose as a group beyond educating educators. Could we be more? She gave us concrete exercises we could do simply in future meetings to help us grow as a community. The seed has been planted in our minds. I’m curious to see where we go from here!
Dr. Sarah J. Lord, Ph.D., Co-Chair Diabetes Canada Professional Section Chapter South East NB
I was impressed with your ability to engage everyone in the process of community building. It was a pleasure to be part of your workshop. Thank you for opening my eyes to the possibility of creating community in every aspect of my life as well as guiding me through the steps to create it. Thank you for helping me to better understand people and the needs that need to be met for everyone.
You really changed my outlook on things and encouraged me to look beneath the surface and drop judgment. You walked us through the steps of community building in a way that was simple and it made sense on every level. You encouraged me to be hopeful as well as positive, encouraging me to think outside the box as well as the importance of genuine acceptance of myself and others. I know that good things will happen once we are a community and the chapter of diabetes educators will one day be a true community thanks to your vision. The concept of community and how to create it inspires me to work harder and do better in every aspect of my life. Thank-you for giving me the opportunity to be part of this workshop and for introducing me to the idea of creating community in everyday life.
Thanks so much Lori for sharing your knowledge and vision with us.
Tammy Saurette Wilson, RN BN, CDE, Co-Chair of Diabetes Canada New Brunswick South- East Professional Section Chapter
I have always valued and promoted community, but this “Community Building” workshop opened my eyes to the true meaning of a community. All characteristics I had termed as plagues in a group, I found are necessary for formation of a healthy community and most especially the need for a vision to help focus.
The need for Community is not only essential in certain circles, but a necessity for all to thrive and impact our world positively.
Thanks Lori, for moving our group into a community. You are not only a coordinator, but a practitioner of what you teach.
“Indeed I am equipped with greater confidence that I can build a thriving community and help any group attain the status of a community.
I love the notion of holding comments and judgement, but putting oneself in other peoples shoes.
I am definitely empowered.
I found the evenings with the group to be enjoyable and insightful with respect to the dynamics involved when getting to know each other on a deeper level than the opportunities provided to us at our usual Chapter meetings and/or business interactions in the day-to-day. The discussions help to remind us not to be so quick to make judgements and assumptions when engaging with others in projects or collaborations.
Not much really changed for me as I feel that my own personal life journey had already brought me to most of the conclusions and awareness of your description for community; I just did not have the process named or catalogued into a precise flow. I have a keen awareness of my “self” and my capacity for resiliency as well as the value/importance of relationships being a foundation for human interaction and “community”. That being said, I describe myself as being a “reluctant-leader” who can also be a poor follower so, at the end of the day, having a more defined process and flow as a base to view interactions from in the future may be helpful to me in assessing the stages of group dynamics and assist me in being more judicious in the application of “leading” or “following” as needed within the various “communities” that I am a part of.
Shelley L Jones RN, BScN, CDE
From the Feedback Forms:
Question: What changed for you as a result of this training?
Answers: A better understanding of people and group dynamics … It opened my eyes to what is possible and how to build community … Support … I realized that this could apply to my workplace and personal life … I appreciated the activity and the sense of validation I felt about many of the things I believe to be true about community and relationships … My definition of community, my expectation of others.
Question: What did you find most useful about the workshops?
Answers: A deeper understanding of people and what makes a community – a broader understanding of what a community may be … Great discussion and sharing; wonderful handouts and suggestions for community building exercises/traditions for our chapter … New friendships … To evolve to be more comfortable and create deeper connections … Discussions and collaborations … Learning the real meaning of community; complexity involved in facilitating a community.
Question: What skill(s) do you feel you now have as a result of attending the workshops?
Answers: Getting to know people on a deeper level in future interactions; how to push past my comfort level … How to go through emptiness and chaos; how to drop judgement … The ability to help guide my workplace into a community building place, to create better collaboration and positive place to work or to spend time with one another … Reinforcement of many of my beliefs and a better understanding of how to cultivate empathy … How to build a community and function as one.
Question: What is your biggest takeaway?
Answers: The importance of having a line of support (community) as well as offering support when needed; to know everyone has had obstacles/hardships and manages to come out on the other end with help … We are all in this together; active listening and support without solving one another’s problems or feeling the need to fix them … Listen … The sharing of your book that I’ve loved to read and will read again now that the program is finished.
Great job! Thank you so much for sharing this gift with us … the facilitator was a great listener, provided all participants with the opportunity to be heard … This is the most participation I have seen in any presentation/group I’ve seen.
If you’d like to have a visual of the impact this program had on the group, view the results of the survey.