How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
The Need for Participation
We want to participate with others, joining in activities and working together. When we are left out, we feel sad and rejected.
A person moves to a new community. They throw themselves into local affairs and soon have many new friends.
A team member finds themselves feeling most actively engaged when they are deeply involved in constructive work.
When asked about our happiest times, many of us will recall times when we were working with others towards a common goal. Acting together expands the sense of common identity, which intensifies further as we collaborate closely. Even if we are not interacting much, being a part of the team is better than sitting upon the sidelines.
Participation is good for society as people seek shared goals and work together for mutual overall gain. It also provides a route to meet other people, build trust and make friends.
The style of participation that is desired does vary with individuals, with some happy to be quiet workers, doing most of their activity on their own, while others wanting to be more socially central, frequently interacting with others. For some, being with others is enough. For others, more social activity is needed.
Some people pull away, hiding from the world, perhaps as a coping mechanism for past disappointment and pain. Yet this is to lose out and the realization of this may only add to their bitterness.
Use participation as a lure and reward, especially when it seems this is a key driver for the person. Talk about the good times to be had within the team and how much the person can contribute.