Consider the following:
Stage One: Psuedo-community. Relationships are a half an inch deep and fake. We actlike we all get along, but we really can’t stand each other. There is no sense of belonging here.We know it. The students know it. The parents know it.
Stage Two: Chaos. We quit pretending that we like each other, and we finally aired ourdifferences. The hounds of hell have been released. Everyone wants to be off this campus.
Stage Three: Surrender. We’ve accepted that we are stuck with each other, and we’ve proven that we’ve only hurt each other in the process of trying to change each other. Now, I’m willing to surrender my agenda (and all other barriers to our communication) so that I might understand you. This is hard work, but at least now we have hope.
Stage Four: Community. We still don’t agree on everything, but we’ve learned to treateach other with dignity and respect. Our campus is a relationally safe environment. We share asense of belonging and purpose. This is the place where lives are impacted. Everyone wants onthis campus.
Now, a question: At which stage is your faculty? We’ll explore the stages of communityin greater detail, and we’ll conclude with practical strategies to empower you to lead yourcampus to Stage Four—it is attainable, and it is where we live our best lives.