The Community Club

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Discussion on: #ClubChat: What in your skillset as a community manager is often considered a "soft skill?"

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Noele Flowers

One I've been thinking about a lot is comfort on video or with public speaking. This isn't necessarily a skill all CMs need, but I think a lot of us in CM roles have to adapt to situations that vary from delivering workshops in our communities to creating short video content to hosting feedback calls with members.

I often hear hiring managers talking about this quality of being 'good on camera' as a 'sparkle' or an innate trait, but I know it's not that. I know because I can easily trace how I learned this skill throughout my life and my career! It started with comfort speaking or singing in front of others (I sang in choirs throughout my whole childhood), developed further when I was a public school teacher having to speak in front of groups of super judgmental teenagers all day, and then culminated in me getting the opportunity to practice cohosting webinars and ultimately hosting my own while at Teachable. This was definitely a skill I learned and honed over time, and I think others who have comfort on camera can probably trace similar arcs where they got a lot of chances to practice.

I think it's important to shift how we think about skills of CMs from fixed to growth orientedโ€”it draws attention to the value of individual's contributions when we acknowledge the time and effort that it takes to learn certain skills, and it also helps us get more concrete about how we can build and develop skills that might be lacking.