Ryan Gottfredson is an assistant professor of Organizational Behavior at Cal State Fullerton where he researches and teaches leadership, and is a leadership consultant. He first became interested in organizational behavior during high school in a sports psychology class, and now holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources from Indiana University and a BA from Brigham Young University. He has worked for Gallup and written multiple articles for Leading Saints, including a series of articles on community.

Highlights

8:10 Where the community articles started

9:50 Many people attend church but they don’t feel they fit, or don’t attend

  • “What community is and why is it important?”
  • How do we create a community in the church so everyone feels welcome?

14:00 There are three community types: basic, involved and united. It is a continuum.

  • 14:45 Basic community: little attachment, little involvement, much like an alumni group, few demands and little connection
  • 15:45 Involved community: share more, some emotional connection but still disconnected but not fully accepted, much like a large workplace
  • 17:30 United community: Share interests, goals and beliefs. Strong identification with group much like a family: when they hurt, we hurt. Provides acceptance, love and protection. This is what it should be within the church.

20:20 A united community is ingrained deep in the LDS culture and doctrinally founded, but with some negative side effects

  • Low cognitive diversity. Can’t think outside a box, inability to allow different perspectives. This is not doctrinal thought, but community thought.
  • 25:30 Lack of inclusivity. Difficult to allow others in, many feel judged, hard to accept others. Often is unintentional judging over what is/is not socially acceptable (tattoos, piercing).
  • 29:00 Lower psychological safety: When something is different, or comments in class get questioned, others are less likely to share. People feel uncomfortable expressing their opinions.
  • 33:40 “Sometimes we have a stronger desire to be right, than we do to love others.”

36:20 How do we improve the united community in the Church? We must be “intentional”.

37:20 Six elements of an intentional community

  1. Charity
  2. Safety
  3. Openness
  4. Inclusiveness
  5. Being present
  6. Having a clear purpose and common cause

38:30 Charity: we must see everyone as people, and value them as such.

41:00 Safety: do our members feel safe and able to to comment in class?

43:25 Openness: we have a social pressure to certainty. If value is on knowing, we are limiting learning. We don’t know all and we can learn from others

45:50 Inclusiveness: everyone should feel welcome. Don’t let little things get in the way of loving them. Care less about how they look and more about how they feel.

47:40 Be Present: we are as involved as we can be, regardless, while we are there in attendance we should be present. Make our meetings matter, provide a value. Intentionally create meetings worth coming to.

50:45 Having Purpose: is everyone heading in the same direction?

53:00 Cliques are not necessarily bad. Smaller groups may allow more connections with others. Perhaps smaller groups can strengthen the whole community.

56:40 Most important to understand what community is and why it is important. Be mindful.

Links

https://www.ryangottfredson.com/

Articles about community in the Church:

  1. The Foundation of Belonging
  2. Flaws We Need to Recognize and Overcome
  3. Becoming an Intentional Community
  4. Moving Forward in a Changing Social Landscape

The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict, by The Arbinger Institute
Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box, by The Arbinger Institute

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