Find out how working together can help you be happier and feel more connected!
by Avery Elizabeth
Webster’s Dictionary defines common good as “the public good : the advantage of everyone.” A simple definition of “common good” is the good of the community together with the good of each of its members. It can be described as a democracy versus a dictatorship in that one person isn’t going to act alone as the dominate factor determining how or why decisions are made.
Many organizations exist for the purpose of providing common good such as public safety and public health. In fact, most associations are formed in an effort to act for the common good. In general, an association is a group of individuals who get together for a common purpose. A professional association is an organization formed to unite and educate people who work in the same occupation. This type of business association offers professional development, continuing education opportunities, and access to resources. It also helps to develop interpersonal skills and builds connections with others in your field by providing the chance to network thus enhancing your business profile. Personally, an association provides a sense of community by uniting likeminded people with similar interests who can bond together to encourage community growth and problem solve.
Becoming a participant in an association’s meetings and other functions opens lines of communication amongst its members and fosters the feeling of inclusion and belonging. People who unite to act for the common good report feeling stronger and more prepared as a group and ready to meet challenges head on, overall leading to a more optimistic outlook and a boost in self-confidence.
Common Good at Work
Applying the “Common Good” concept in day to day decision making can be challenging as you can’t please everyone. But the benefits of working together to achieve the best outcome for everyone far outweigh the difficulties. For example, collaboration within a group can help solve difficult problems. In the workplace, brainstorming is an opportunity for the team to exchange ideas and come up with creative solutions. By joining forces, groups of people can put their heads together and find solutions that work best. Teamwork promotes creativity and encourages employees to consider different viewpoints. In this way, working together toward a shared goal imparts a greater sense of community. When you gather diverse opinions about a project, you have more ideas, and a better chance of success.
It also enables you to take advantage of people’s strengths and provide support in areas of weakness or inexperience. Lending that helping hand can bolster an individual’s confidence, increase morale and employee satisfaction. For personal gain, partnering with family or friends can build trust and strengthen bonds while learning something new about someone as you work with them in a different context to accomplish shared goals. Studies have shown that bonding either at work or home leads to overwhelmingly positive experiences and vastly improved outcomes.
Working towards common good also leads to knowing more about yourself. Collaborating with others will help identify your own strengths and weaknesses. For example, you may be a better leader than listener, or you might think of the ‘big ideas’ but are not so good at putting them into action. Enhanced self-awareness will both help your approach to learning and will be invaluable when you get out into the community and showcase your skills in any particular area.
Volunteer for the Common Good
Volunteering for a specific organization that you care about or working together in some way to enhance your community are great examples of working together for the common good. Both of these activities also have great health benefits to you as an individual. Volunteering is a win-win as you give much needed support to organizations while learning important tools that can greatly impact your life.
Interacting with new people can heal you develop a new sense of appreciation for yourself. Learning to appreciate all you’re doing for the community not only decreases your stress, but it teaches you healthy ways to manage your time.
Having the courage to be kind by helping others is a great way to increase your confidence at work or during life’s challenging moments. When you volunteer, you learn to be confident for those who can’t be. It’s what gives you an extra push to speak up for yourself or to make bolder decisions with your future.
Volunteering not only builds the confidence you’ll use to network, but it also opens new doors to new connections. From local community leaders to successful board members, volunteering connects you with a side of your community that you might not otherwise have a chance to meet. You never know when those connections can help you with an aspect of your life that you never thought of.
5 Tools For Tillers:
Be Grateful For Everything
When we’re grateful, our energy shifts to a more positive way of being. Our inner light shines brighter and draws goodness toward us. Gratitude makes everything better.
Step Beyond Your Comfort Zone
Broaden your horizons by doing something a little different, outside of your normal routine. Be brave and extend your reach in ways you’ve never done before, you just might learn something new that’s helpful. As Albert Einstein said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
Practice showing love to every person you come in contact with
Love given is always returned at some point so give love freely and show compassion in your interactions with other people. You’ll be surprised how good it feels.
Find Reasons To Laugh
A simple smile has been proven to change your body chemistry for the better. Share your sense of humor with the people around you and spread that joy!
Trust Your Intuition
Find some quiet time throughout your day to really listen to your heart and soul. Together they will guide you to making better choices for yourself. Doing so invites miracles into your life. Try it and remain open to whatever comes your way.
Photo: Ian Stauffer