This Valentine’s Day, I am struck by the similarities between having a good relationship and strong community management. The 7 tips below will help you build stronger connections both online and offline in your personal life.
1) Look For Solutions Together
Sometimes in communities problems will come up, just as they do in any healthy relationship. The strength of a community and a relationship is not measured in the problems that arise, but rather how a solution is arrived at. With good communication, openness and transparency communities can work to find solutions together.
A great example of this can be found in opensource communities as they work through creating the software they need.
2) Think Before Reacting
Diverse ideas and opinions can be found in any community and in most relationships. We all have different thoughts and ideas as to how things should be done. We are all entitled to our own opinions and will be triggered by different issues. Think before your write or speak. If there is tightness in your chest, it is probably not the time to react.
If you need to, sleep on it – as time passes you will be able to respond rather than react.
3) Be Grateful and Say Thank You
Everyone loves to feel appreciated. When we are grateful, we have more to be thankful for. A little appreciation can go along way in community management and in a relationship. It fosters both goodwill and creates a greater willingness on the part of people to engage and be present. Have you recently thanked your community?
4) Humanity is Reality
In community management as in a relationship, it is important to share your humanity. This is what makes you a real person. When people can share the vulnerable side and be authentic with one another it builds trust and increases the connection shared. This change will be palpable in your community. (For more on authenticity, see this post)
We can all make mistakes, both in an intimate relationship or in a community. It takes courage for one to admit they are wrong, particularly in a public forum like an online community. Bring people in with a hug, and trust people to be good from the beginning.
6) Remember to Laugh
Laughter is the best medicine. Even when serious issues come up laughter can help with conflict resolution and diffuse tensions. This is essential for both relationships and in community management. Life should be fun most of the time and being able to laugh at each other and play are great ways to keep both a relationship and community vital.
7) Celebrate Success
In both communities and in love it is important to celebrate your achievements. When people united together by a common idea, goal (or love) reach a milestone or achieve something great, celebration is essential. It keeps everyone motivated and happy and fosters more success.
This Valentine’s Day, remember these areas in your own personal relationships and in your online communities, and you will surely find that you are setting yourself up for greater success in the months to come. May your community continue to shine! Happy Valentine’s Day!
I believe in a thing called LOOOOOVE!