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From Community Manager to Coach


JoelR

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The role of a community manager is undergoing a significant transformation. Gone are the days when community managers were merely moderators or administrators. Today, they are increasingly adopting the role of a coach, a change that is both necessary and beneficial for the thriving online community ecosystems.

Embracing Different Coaching Styles

A community manager, much like a coach, needs to adapt their style to suit the needs of their community. There are several coaching styles that a community manager can adopt:

  • Democratic Coaching: This involves seeking consensus and encouraging participation from all members. It's about giving a voice to members and making decisions based on collective input.
  • Autocratic Coaching: Sometimes, a community manager needs to make quick, decisive decisions. This style is effective in situations where swift action is required.
  • Holistic Coaching: This approach focuses on the well-being of community members, not just their contributions. It involves understanding and addressing their broader life context.
  • Transformational Coaching: Here, the focus is on inspiring and motivating members, helping them realize their potential within the community.

Implementing the GROW Model

One of the most effective frameworks that community managers can use in their new role as coaches is the GROW model. This model comprises four stages:

  • Goal Setting: Establishing clear, attainable objectives for the community and its members.
  • Reality Checking: Assessing the current state of the community and identifying challenges.
  • Options: Brainstorming potential strategies to overcome these challenges.
  • Will: Determining the way forward and committing to action.

By applying the GROW model, community managers can facilitate a more structured and goal-oriented development within their communities.

Coaching as an Organizational Capacity

The shift towards coaching in community management is not just about individual roles; it's about cultivating coaching as an organizational capacity. This means creating an environment where continuous learning, feedback, and personal development are central to the community's culture.

Organizations can foster this culture by providing training for community managers in coaching methodologies and by encouraging a mindset of growth and development. This approach helps in building communities that are not only engaged but also resilient and adaptable to change.

Conclusion

The role of community managers as coaches is an exciting development in the realm of online community administration. By adopting various coaching styles, implementing frameworks like the GROW model, and fostering coaching as an organizational capacity, community managers can elevate their communities to new heights. This transition from mere management to coaching can lead to more engaged, empowered, and thriving online communities.


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