Behind every vibrant community lies a story of passionate leaders who embrace both the challenges and joys of their roles. Let's be honest, community managers aren't just doing a job; they're the true creators of human connection. So it's more than a role; it's personal, something that's etched into the very core of community culture.
This sentiment resonated at the heart of our July CMX Masterclass, "Grow, Innovate, and Plan for Intentional Rest," led by two beloved thought leaders: Rebecca Marshburn, the Head Of Community at Common Room, and Nikki Thibodeau, the Senior Manager Of Community And Customer Advocacy at Calix.
What's truly unique about this CMX Masterclass is its honesty. It was like sitting down with friends – Rebecca and Nikki – and hearing their unfiltered thoughts about the challenges they face in nurturing communities while also taking care of themselves. The Masterclass zoomed in on something often swept under the rug: self-care, a concept that feels familiar yet often forgotten.
First of all, it's about acknowledging that you are more than your role – you're a person with dreams, hobbies, and a life outside the community platform. That's where the four main self-care themes of Masterclass: personal time, personal space, personal growth, and personal goals come from. Have you ever found yourself trapped in a cycle where your role avoids the activities that nourish you? While your work environment might not be the root cause, it's often our personal tendencies to become absorbed in our work and communities that inadvertently push aside these personal passions. This is exactly what Rebecca discovered:
"I realized the importance of taking a step back and making space for these personal interests. I also examined my personal goals and how I intend to pursue them from a holistic perspective beyond my professional role."
It's about recognizing the value of yourself and your personal time, especially in community spaces where interactions involve real human beings. The magic of community lies in the connections we foster, and that magic can only thrive when community managers also prioritize themselves.
This concept can take on various forms, from simple strategies to reflective self-contemplation. Some examples shared were the idea of being "unreachable after 5 p.m." and the practice of "no meeting days." Ultimately, it's about recognizing whether we're dedicating time to our passions and interests and ensuring that we're nurturing the essential elements of our well-being – physical, mental, and emotional.
Aside from self-care, an equally vital aspect of community management – navigating transitions was brought up. What happens when a leader steps away temporarily or moves on entirely? How do you ensure that the community's engagement remains steady during these shifts?
With Community dynamics in a constant state of flux, knowing how to handle these shifts is an art that requires careful preparation and consideration.
The transition should not be a solo journey. When Nikki experienced a transition in her role, she didn't face it alone. In collaboration with Rebecca, rooted in meticulous preparation, setting clear expectations, and involving the community transparently, they built a framework that embraced flexibility and adaptability. This collaborative process wasn't just about transferring tasks; it was about transferring knowledge, ensuring that the community's voice and essence remained intact even during a transition.
So self-care, navigating transitions, and the art of intentional rest – are crucial aspects that every community professional should have a solid grasp of. As we've explored the heart of our July CMX Masterclass, "Grow, Innovate, and Plan for Intentional Rest," led by Rebecca Marshburn and Nikki Thibodeau, the value of these insights becomes strikingly clear.
As much as we'd love to delve into every detail here, the magic truly happens when you dive into the full Masterclass. It's a journey of transformation, empowerment, and renewed community leadership. To uncover more, gain a deeper understanding, and equip yourself with the tools to drive impactful change, we invite you to watch the full Masterclass below.