During their presentation today at Camp ALLGCUC, David Walker and Iris Kavanagh talked about what it takes for a community manager to be successful.
“A coworking space is a container, it holds potential energy…an energy that is created by all coworkers, and a community manager’s job is to facilitate this energy.” – David Walker
At OT, we’ve discussed the importance of community managers various times and we’ve reached the conclusion that they can help make or break a flexible workspace. Today at Camp ALLGCUC, community experts David Walker and Iris Kavanagh shared their knowledge on the subject and gave some pointers on what to look for in a community manager.
Being a community manager is no easy task, they run the workspace, they organize events, they welcome members, they get to know members, they anticipate needs, the list is endless. So it’s no surprise that it takes a certain ‘type’ of person to be successful and not feel burnt out with all that’s going on around them.
Before we dive into the top qualities that you should look for in a community manager, we want to address another important issue: community manager burnout.
Community manager burnout happens when a community manager takes on too much work and doesn’t get to take a break. This is an issue that’s been affecting many as usually community managers are expected to do anything and everything around and in a flexible workspace; whether this means making coffee, fixing the printer, or hearing a member’s problems, community managers are the go-to person of any workspace.
Ms. Kavanagh described community managers as being a full-time mom or dad, you’re constantly looking after people, getting everything ready, and members are constantly asking you for things.
So, what can be done to prevent this burnout?
Both experts stress the importance of balancing the workload and allowing (forcing if necessary) community managers to take a break so that they don’t feel like they’re hitting a wall. In the spirit of fostering and nurturing community, they suggest letting members help out with some tasks, like making the coffee or giving tours.
As for the top 5 qualities a successful community manager should have, Ms. Kavanagh mentions the following:
- Community managers are happy people
- Community managers are curious individuals
- Community managers are intuitive
- Community managers are accountable
- Community managers kick ass (as in they’re hard working)
Stay tuned for more ALLGCUC Conference content in the coming days. You can also follow us on Twitter, we’ll be live-tweeting from the event..