6 Key Community Conversations and the Questions That Transform Them – SASM 100

Joel Zaslofsky Smiling at You Picture

We're one people when we're in community together.

Even if it's temporary, even if it's fleeting – community is about bringing people together to co-create.

To share a sense of ownership of something big. To believe in possibilities that were previously impossible and make some of those impossibilities reality.

I didn't believe it was possible to plod my way along to 100 episodes of Smart and Simple Matters – but I did it with this one! And you know why I kept going when I wanted to quit? You know what kept me afloat when slow and steady felt like a burden rather than a gift?


As in you – the community behind, around, and leading the spirit behind Smart and Simple Matters. The people who also help to create simple-living communities, live intentionally, build authentic relationships, and have tons of gratitude.

This milestone episode is a celebration of you and the conversation we have – or can start having – as a community. So I've taken the framework from one of my favorite resources about community, Peter Block's Community: The Structure of Belonging, and invite you to weave a new tapestry of connection wherever you go.

I'll be talking about six key conversations we can have together and the powerful questions that move us forward without retribution, rebellion, or resignation. We'll focus on your gifts, owning how awesome they are, and finding new ways to give them to those who need them the most.

And if it turns out you want to say “No” to this episode or what many of us are co-creating here, that's all-to-the-good. Because as Block says:

“If we can't say no, then our yes has no meaning.”

Press play and let's start celebrating you!

You're about to Learn ...

  • Why community becomes a bigger deal the more you don't have it.
  • The 3 qualities of a great question for any community setting.
  • Which of the 6 crucial conversations you need to have in your community.
  • What community means to me … and some new possibilities for you.
  • What amazing people have influenced my generous, community-focused life.
  • The down side – maybe even dark side – of community and why it often sucks.
  • Why community citizens have to cultivate the future (don't wait, beg, or dream for it).
  • Why our “Yes” has no meaning if we can't say “No.”
  • Why none of us is strong enough to carry the dead weight of others.

Resources and Items Mentioned in This Episode

Timestamps and Topics

  • [03:59] The sheer power and context of community
  • [13:19] The often invisible pillars of community
  • [21:03] My experiences using Community questions at local gatherings
  • [23:44] How to invite others to your community
  • [26:19] Possibility: questions for the community conversation
  • [36:57] Ownership: questions for the community conversation
  • [40:07] Dissent: questions for the community conversation
  • [49:12] Commitment: questions for the community conversation
  • [52:09] Gifts: questions for the community conversation
  • [56:41] Recapping the six conversations and an invitation to you

Extra Gratitude and Special Mentions

I can never do it enough. Thank you a freakin' ton for making these episode worthwhile!

And here's a huge dose of gratitude to the community that's come to think of Smart and Simple Matters as a constant source of inspiration, verbal connection, and downright silliness.

Awesome Ways to Subscribe to the Show

Smart and Simple Matters: Creating Community, Simplicity, and Authenticity with You
Smart and Simple Matters: Creating Community, Simplicity, and Authenticity with You
Joel Zaslofsky: Community Animator, Connector, Multipotentialite, Podcaster, and Spreadsheet Guy

Joel Zaslofsky – your community-animating, convention-challenging show host – taps into all his powerful (and often quirky) strategies in a diverse mix of conversations and solo episodes. For example, you'll get chats with TED Talk hotshots like Andy Puddicombe on meditation, experts like Tsh Oxenreider on gratitude, humble influencers like Joshua Becker on minimalism, or Paleo superstars like Mark Sisson on Primal-living. The show has 100,000s of downloads because listeners love to deeply explore the slower side of life, simplicity through mindfulness, and intentional living … among other things. Do you need help with your "stuff," personal relationships, or your relationship with money? Do you enjoy nerdy riffs about spreadsheets or casual references to 1990s music? Subscribe to Smart and Simple Matters now and download this popular, groovy show.

I'm Grateful for Your Reviews!

If you enjoyed this specific episode or the Smart and Simple Matters show in general, I always appreciate an honest iTunes review right here. Every single rating and review is a huge help, lets others find the show more easily, and generates a ton of gratitude!

Here are the four quick steps to leave an iTunes review (assuming iTunes is already installed):

  1. Click here to visit the Smart and Simple Matters iTunes page.
  2. Click the blue button on the left labeled "View in iTunes" below the show cover art.
  3. When iTunes loads, click the navigation tab labeled "Ratings and Reviews" and then click the "Write a Review" button underneath the "Customer Reviews" heading.
  4. Write a review with whatever title you like, whatever length you have time for, and give the show an honest rating. If you don't think it deserves five stars, don't give it five stars.

Thanks again for your time and attention! And if you have someone or something you’d like me to cover on an upcoming show, tell us in the comments below.

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