What internal communicators can learn from the church (and vice versa)

Companies and churches may have different aims, but the two have plenty to teach each other about using communication to build a thriving, collaborative community.

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People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

The best, most fulfilling places of work and worship tap into this profound human desire and use it to rally diverse groups of people around common, cooperative goals.

How does that happen? Just as important, what prevents organic, genuine connections from forming?

Here are four things that churches do (both good and annoying) that internal communicators can explore to create a more harmonious, healthier—possibly even holier—environment.

1. Don’t force it. Of all my grievances about going to church, none generates more ire than the dreaded meet-and-greet, in which a pastor or other way-too-cheery person in the pulpit encourages everyone to greet someone near them. It sounds innocuous, but I rarely return to a church where perfunctory chit-chat is foisted upon the congregants.

Many companies do some painful variation of this, whether co-workers are compelled to solve puzzles together, complete a scavenger hunt or, perhaps worst of all, talk about their feelings.

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