As a community manager, you often have to flex a lot of different muscles. You interact with a diverse set of personalities and opinions and have to be ready for the unexpected when it comes to what'll happen in your community on any given day.
Soft skills (also called power skills, common skills, or core skills) are non-technical traits that relate to how you work and interact with others. They include how you interact with colleagues, how you solve problems, and how you manage your work.
Soft skills (also called power skills, common skills, or core skills) are non-technical traits that relate to how you work and interact with others. These skills are hugely important for community managers and are key to positive and successful interactions with both your community members as well as the colleagues at your company.
The benefits of soft skills for your community:
The benefits of soft skills for you and your team:
Overlooking soft skills not only deprives you, the company, and your community of these benefits, but can have a detrimental impact on the engagement, growth, and success of all of these groups.
To help community managers be more productive in their roles, Jacob Gross compiled a list of the top five soft skills they should build.
As a community manager, you're interacting with people every day in different roles and from different backgrounds. Share a lived experience or feeling to help build trust and foster understanding.
Convey your points appropriately, clearly, and with intent—it's not only what you say, but how you say it that makes an impact too.
Given the user-facing nature of the role, you'll likely be notified about an array of problems, complaints, feedback, etc. Learn to be solution-focused and take the problems in stride.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to running successful communities. Experiment and take inspiration from other communities as you define your own community strategy.
Sometimes things don't go as planned (e.g. AV breaks down during an event) or emergencies pop up (e.g. your product is unexpectedly down), and you need to be able to learn from what happened, adapt, and keep moving forward.
Check out the full post for more detail on each of these skills.
Communication and problem solving are two key skills identified by Jacob, but can prove difficult to manage as a community grows. It can be challenging to deploy these skills if you don’t have a clear view into everything that’s happening in your community. Don’t be afraid to use tools to help you amplify the power of your soft skills.
Common Room helps you understand, activate, and scale your community. The platform allows you to bring together all of the members and conversations happening across your community in one place. By knowing who is in your community, the discussions they’re a part of across all channels, and what problems they’re trying to solve, you can more effectively deploy your soft skills to meet the needs of members and ensure they have a great experience.
Common Room features like sentiment analysis and team alerts allow you to quickly identify and bring empathy (and resolution) to product bugs or other issues experienced by community members. Built-in reporting shows the impact of your creative efforts, proving the increased engagement, new members, or business ROI that resulted from a new initiative.
Having these community insights from Common Room at your fingertips allows you to stay flexible and be confident that you can tackle whatever challenge or opportunity next presents itself.
Soft skills are critical to the success of community managers, and you can amplify these attributes with the right resources.
To continue the conversation on soft skills and community building best practices, join us in the Uncommon community where you can connect with 1000+ community leaders.