Once you explore the boundaries that exist among the members of your partnership, you’ll want to help members feel connected as a group. Building relationships within the partnership develops trust and create a sense of community that will allow members to accomplish more together than they could individually.
Some simple ways you can help build relationships include:
- Reserving time for a personal check-in at the beginning of meetings.
- Start your meeting with an icebreaker that introduces exploration of members’ background to surface the diversity and similarities within the group. Examples include Knowing the Community: Sharing Activity from EdChange and Mementos where members share an object that holds personal significance so members can learn more about each other
- Set up “buddy systems” to encourage one-on-one relationships. This can be a helpful way to introduce people.
- Have fun.
You can also use Social Identity Mapping to engage partners in deeper dialogue about who group members are and to move beyond typical introductions. Easily adapted for community groups, these Awareness Activities include facilitation guidelines and can address diversity, social identity, and cultural competence. You may want to have an experienced, neutral facilitator guide your group through team building to ensure a safe learning environment for all.