5 Ways to Make a Difference in Your Community

In May, with our colleagues at Thinking Partners we co-hosted the Vancouver edition of the Canadian Values Conversations, and had the privilege of hearing from some Vancouver BC residents about what matters most to them.

One of the key questions we all walked away with was, “How can we bring our values more to life in our communities?” In this blog we’re exploring 5 simple ways you can use your own values to make a real difference in your community – whether that’s your family, group of friends, team at work, associations you’re part of or more broadly.

Identify what matters most to you

It’s easier to take action when you are clear about your passions. What do you value most? As values can change, it’s a good idea to do a check-in with yourself every few years to discover – or re-affirm – what matters most to you. You can do this in a few different ways.

  • The DIY route – reflect and note down 3 times over the past year that you’ve felt most happy or fulfilled. Think about: what you were doing, who you were with, what did you feel connected to? Draw your values out from these experiences.
  • The assessment route – the Barrett Values Centre offers a free, online values assessment that will help you to identify your core values: https://www.valuescentre.com/our-products/products-individuals/personal-values-assessment-pva
  • The coaching route – partnering with a coach is an effective way to uncover the values that are most important to you, especially if you are looking to bring those values more to life personally and professionally.

Connect with others

connection

Now you know what your values are, a next step can be to connect, either with those who share similar values or by exploring values that are different to yours. If you are looking to connect with people who share some of the same values and find your community or “tribe”, check out your local newspaper, Facebook groups or ask friends and colleagues. If a group or organization does not yet exist in your passion or interest area, consider starting one by reaching out to people you feel might share similar values.

Listen

facilitation

You know what matters to you, and perhaps you’ve found others who share these values, so what next? Listening is a powerful tool when you want to make a difference. Listen to understand others’ needs and dreams; don’t offer solutions or even ideas for now, just really listen to what they’re saying. Once you feel you have understood what those around you need, you can move on to taking action.

Take Action

take action

Whether you’ve gone through steps 1 to 3 or found another route that works well for you, taking action will likely be your next move. What “action” looks like will depend on many factors. For some, it could be updating language used on a website or newsletter so it better reflects an organization’s core purpose; for others, it could be sending off funding applications, starting a coffee morning for new Canadians, reflecting on 3 things you are grateful for every day, or making a new habit to connect with people you don’t know well – actions can be small or big. What matters most is to do something that you feel brings your values more to life…

Inspire others

inspire others

Positivity is contagious! Celebrate and share what you, others and/or your community are doing to inspire others either to join you or take action in a way that fits their values. Use social media, email signatures, word of mouth, letters or articles in local papers, community centre notice boards, and so on. Use the hashtag #WorldValuesDay to share your efforts and be inspired by others who are taking values-based action to make positive changes around the globe. World Values Day happens once a year, but the positive impacts it inspires happen every day!!

make a difference in your community

This post was originally published on Thinking Partners website.