Prompt: Referring to Brueggeman’s article, what are 3 ways that social workers build community in groups through their leadership? Please explain your answers and give 2 concrete examples of how you have seen these elements accomplished in your own group experiences.
Brueggeman’s article mentions multiple ways social workers build communities in groups through their leadership. Although leaders are the main person to consult and direct members of the community to common goals, leaders would not be able to accomplish tasks if it were not for community members coming together. “Gathering people together” is the first task to building a community. Leaders must work alongside members of the community to work towards common goals. Community members are brought together through forming organizations, recruitment, and even simply by word of mouth. Once leaders have established members to be part of a team, the second step comes with the discussion on how these community members are feeling. By doing this, leaders can grab a sense of the dynamic of the group and may possibly clear the air to be able to move forward or members can figure out epiphanies within themselves. This gives meaning and purpose to the group making it to where members and leaders are on the same page and work toward same goals. This then lays out the foundation to the next step for community members to develop an understanding of goals and looking outward with possible future goals wanting to be made as a community. Visions can come alive when community members and leaders share them.
An example I have seen these elements from my own experiences was just two weeks ago in class. It meant a lot to our cohort that our instructor cared enough to ask us how the course is going and what changes are needed to be made and what were things that were going well. For one, we have established that we are a cohort with a leader (our instructor); we spoke about things and expressed our thoughts to each other – most students expressed feelings of concerns, stress, anxiety because we were confronting frustrating situations. Lastly, as a cohort, we need to be reminded of our long-term and short-terms goals of why we are here today – to become social workers. This is just part of our process to get there, and though it may be a struggle we need to envision that this process will help build strength within us and our knowledge of working as a team.