Blogging reflections March - Barnwood Trust

Blogging reflections March

In a recent blog by Maureen Rowcliffe Quarry, she describes her role working as a You’re Welcome Guide in Cirencester http://www.yourewelcome.to/cirencester/community-building-at-arms-length.

As a You’re Welcome Guide you are working at arm’s length, supporting community members to grow their own capacity to make the change they want to see happen. For many of us working in the charity sector the notion of supporting others to do what they want to do can be incredibly challenging. The things that are important to residents aren’t always the same as the things that are important to us as individuals, or our organisations. In our well-meaning attempts to make a difference, we can impose our agendas and our motivations onto community members. Whilst well intentioned this often results in residents feeling undermined and losing the motivation to continue to meet, as the initial passion that brought people together passes.

This makes the role of a You’re Welcome Guides and a Community Builder a particularly difficult one, as they have to reflect deeply about what it means to serve a community. They will need manage conflicting agendas, and exercise constraint in not providing the solutions, but rather offer questions and challenges for communities to reflect upon, through which people learn about themselves and each other.

As Margaret Wheatley said “I think a major act of leadership right now, call it a radical act, is to create the places and processes so people can actually learn together, using our experiences”

Leadership of this nature requires great humility.  It requires us all to rethink traditional approaches to leadership, both within our organisations and the places we live. To quote Margaret Wheatley again “We need to move from the leader as hero, to the leader as host.” This means we need to consider what are the conditions that enables people to be fully themselves, bringing with them all their experiences, gifts and passions.

Maureen and her colleagues in the Community Team might not describe themselves as leaders, yet their role in growing leadership capacity in community is essential.  As Ella Baker, the human right activist stated “I have always thought what is needed is the development of people who are interested not in being leaders as much as in developing leadership among other people”.

Posted: March 2017

Back to news

 





News archive

Black History Month 2017 Competition
Read more...

Blogging reflections April
Read more...

You’re Welcome Workshops April - July 2017
Read more...

Blogging reflections March
Read more...

Blogging reflections February
Read more...

Barnwood Trust Ambassadors in the Forest of Dean
Read more...

Free social prescriptions for people in Cam and Dursley
Read more...

Jubliant Stories - Northway
Read more...

You’re Welcome Workshops are here!
Read more...

Events 2016 - Come and see us!
Read more...

New job opportunity - Community Builder
Read more...

Barnwood Trust Annual Review 2015
Read more...