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Kirsti Buick for The Community Club

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#ClubChat: What strategies do you use to help prevent Community Manager burnout?

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How do you take care of your CMs who are both doing mega emotional labor and taking the flack of sometimes negative community members? Or as a CM, how do you take care of your own mental health?

Discussion (6)

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oana profile image
Oana Filip

Hey! For me, these are two different questions. I'll try to share my insights for each.

  1. Sometimes, putting a code of conduct and keeping reinforcing it helps. It offers everyone the same source of truth, making it easier for people to relate. Other times, nasty things happen, such as having negative community members. When I notice such behaviors, I always give my best to understand what's beneath the reaction/comment/message. I personally reach out and ask open questions from a place of curiosity.

  2. Community management is indeed emotionally draining. It's just what it is. The thing that matters is how often people working in this area land exhausted. If it's too often, it can be many reasons (things are messy inside the tribe, the person has too much on the table, there are other areas involved, such as personal issues).
    Zooming out, taking a break, resting is always handy and come with a clearer perspective.

I hope it helps. 🤞

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kirstib profile image
Kirsti Buick Author

I really like the idea of a code of conduct—having a protocol for situations like this definitely helps alleviate some of the stress. And even if the situation escalates, you can at least be confident you've done everything by the book!

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jocelynhsu profile image
Jocelyn

I know @brianoblinger has many a thought about preventing burnout, so calling you in to share your wisdom (or rants LOL)

I think it's really important to create a safe space for CMs to vent or rant about frustrating situations, negative community members, etc. It's important that all CMs have someone to talk to that understand the pain. This is why I think it's so key to have a community team and community of community builders (like Community Club). You can voice frustrations without having to explain why something is frustrating or why community matters.

Another key thing is taking time off and preserving it! If you're managing CMs, make sure they're getting ample time off to step away from it all. This should be more than one day at a time. Take a week+ vacation, get off email/Slack, and don't check on your community. Decompress and reset.

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kirstib profile image
Kirsti Buick Author

Thanks for weighing in Jocelyn! I love the idea that CMs are among the people who need community the most. ❤️

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mmohammed profile image
Mohamed

For my part, I've found it so much easier to prioritize my mental health as a CM working remotely than in an office. Having said that, I think the most important (albeit perhaps obvious) tactic I've learned is to be strict about the separation between working hours and off hours. My managers always key in on logging off when it's quitting time and not continuously checking on things (which, I'm also learning, is something that literally evert CM does!)

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kirstib profile image
Kirsti Buick Author

So agree with you on being strict with your off-time—and it's so easy to fall into bad habits when working remotely too. Compartmentalization is key!