NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Building a Strong Sense of Community

windmillMany people consider rural communities like those we have in Sargent county to be the ideal place to live and raise a family. Even though they recognize that certain challenges come with that choice, people who locate in rural areas often do so because of a preference for a safe, friendly, family-focused routine associated with a small town way of life.  These shared values illustrate a strong sense of community and can be promoted as quality of life incentives to bring people back, as well as keep them in rural America.

Throughout Sargent county, we see people working together for the benefit of their community.  In the process, they create a sense of community that involves a feeling of belonging and importance, even though they may or may not have personal relationships with each other.

Social involvement and participation in the community may eventually lead to increased social capital for the community. Social capital is all about networks and connections with others, as well as the trust among those in the networks.  Whenever people come together, building relationships of trust and networking to get things done, social capital is at work improving the community.

The process of working together as a group is not always easy. In fact, it can be a bumpy road.  Establishing some ground rules at the outset of any discussion can help a group be more productive and successful. Ground rules your group might want to consider adopting include the following:

- Listen to one another.

- Treat others with respect; do not blame, attack or engage in put-downs.

- Everyone gets a chance to talk; share air time.

- Allow whomever is speaking to do so without being interrupted.

- Speak for yourself, not the group.

- Agree that disagreeing is OK and work toward understanding.

- Stick to the issue and stay on track

- If you talk about people who are not in the room, don’t use their names.

- Some of what we talk about will be personal, agree not to share outside of the group

Contact NDSU Extension Service for more information and resources to use when you are part of a group who is working to accomplish good things and build a strong sense of community.  

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