Improving performance always means implementing change, and with change always comes risk, insecurity and some degree of resistance. The means to overcoming the inevitable lack of confidence, hesitancy, and unwillingness to take initiative that ensue is well documented as helping people find a new and comfortable place to be, supporting them with answers to questions, providing information, enabling new skills, encouraging experimentation, allowing failure and other points on a check-list. It is only when people begin to regain confidence that performance will improve and individuals will reach out for new and challenging targets.
So what is the role of community in performance support?
- A place where people are able to find comfort - whether out of common need, fear, or interest, or whether out of a sense of adventure, or even an understanding of the need to carry the whole along and thus help one another
- A place to retreat to and share feelings, needs, anxieties and to ask questions of others experience,
- A place into which to adventure to express ideas, share and validate insights
- A place where those who "can" help others with knowledge, experience and affirmation
- A place of discovery, where energy is gained to push and cross boundaries
- Our quest for performance support in our connected world of wierarchies means that almst anywhere we look (for help, experience, ideas, experience) we interface with and join (even if only sign up and gain access!) to networks. In many cases these are groupings of people who don't know one another and who only come together out of common context or content.
- In joining networks we become unconsciously part of communities - in which we readily empathise with others we find there, where we are able to explore ideas dispassionately and maybe even to disagree vehemently
- In our quest for that essential comfort zone we experience another kind of discomfort in joining an unfamiliar technology, new and anonymous people, an unwritten code of practice about the rules of the community.