Here are ways on how to improve community relations in an organization:
1. Get to know your community by getting out and about. This will also help you understand the needs and issues of the community.
2. Involve community leaders in designing and planning your projects.
3. Treat people fairly and with respect and understanding.
4. Listen to people and let them know that they have been heard and that their ideas and concerns will be taken into consideration in all decisions made about the project.
5. Involve the community in monitoring and evaluating your project.
6. Learn from mistakes – never be afraid to admit a mistake or failure!
Let us discuss these below.
Get to know your community by getting out and about.
The first step to improve community relations is to get to know the community. A good place to start is by finding out what resources are available in the community. This will help you identify existing organizations, people, and resources that may be able to support your project. You can do this by talking with people, visiting organizations, reading newspaper articles, etc.
Involve community leaders in designing and planning your projects.
Involve community leaders in your planning process so that they will have a vested interest in the project’s success. This is important for two reasons: first, their input will help you design the project most relevant to the needs of the community; second, they are likely to become supporters of the project if they are involved from the beginning.
Treat people fairly and with respect and understanding.
Treating people fairly means treating them as you would want to be treated. Fairness includes being respectful of different points of view, open-mindedness, tolerance of opposing views, honesty, and integrity in decision-making. Fairness is very important for building strong relationships with all members of the community. It will also help you gain their trust and respect which are essential factors for increasing cooperation during implementation. Fair treatment builds trust among all parties involved in the project.
Listen to people and let them know that they have been heard and that their ideas and concerns will be taken into consideration in all decisions made about the project.
A good way to build relationships with people is by listening to them first before talking about your plans or ideas. People feel respected when they are listened to so please listen first before opening your mouth.
A good way of doing this is by asking questions like:
- How do you think we can solve this problem?
- What do you think we should do?
- What happened when you tried this approach?
- People feel good when their ideas are considered seriously even if they are not necessarily used. They also feel more committed once you tell them that you have listened to their concerns or ideas.
The most important thing here is that you let them know that their opinions matter – otherwise why should they bother? This applies especially when dealing with large groups; never forget that if one person does not like something it could mean ten others won’t like it either!