We all long to find connection; to feel as though we belong to a larger group or mission. A common pitfall in work and life occurs when we do not feel connected to those we are working or living with. Defining a common purpose can help us to find connections with others to work together toward that shared goal.
We define an organization as two or more people who have come together for a common purpose. A business can be an organization, but so can a family, a friend group, a church, a sports team, or a marriage. Each of these organizations will likely have an implicit purpose for gathering together, but intentionally creating a common There will help members of the organization feel like they are contributing to something that is greater than themselves.
You can and should create a personal There for yourself, but you also need to come together with others to work towards a shared goal. We can always accomplish more as a team than we can on our own. Belonging to a team increases both your productivity and satisfaction.
Without a There
We have an innate need to belong to something; to play a part in a grander plan alongside others. Without a shared goal, we are merely people acting alongside each other instead of with each other. We become isolated and lonely, working in our own little bubbles and without any sense of camaraderie.
Without a There, we perceive others with an us versus them mentality and seek out competition. We pit ourselves against each other instead of working together. We can attempt collaboration without a There, but it will default into either continually fighting for what serves you over and above the group, or putting out whatever fires seem most urgent in the moment instead of purposefully pursuing a goal.
With a There
With an intentional There, we are able to see beyond the urgent to discern the important and work towards a greater goal. We can collaborate with others without competing, knowing that we are all aiming for the same mission. We can find increased satisfaction in our work for two reasons: First, through participating in a mission that is greater than ourselves. And secondly, in doing so in connection to a community or organization to which we belong.
If we feel like we are contributing to a greater mission with a group of people working together for the same cause, it will help us feel connected both to our work and to those we are doing it with. If you’re feeling disconnected from your work or from others in any given organization, consider whether or not you are pursuing a collective There.
Gracie McBride is the Content and Systems Management Coordinator for The Crossroad.