Talent Themes for Community Coordinators

The task of identifying natural communites in a huge company is challenging and managers who lead these initiatives find the task of seeding strategically important communities easier. Good leadership does help top-down communities to flourish….However are there a set of traitsthat good community leaders possess(apart from facilitation)? Can these skills be acquired or do these traits have dimensions that cannot be taught…I was reading “Now Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham & Donald Clifton in which they speak about 34 themes of talent. I have been wondering if there are themes of talent that we may find across a subset of good community coordinators…The techniques applied in the book to arrive at this frameowrk are pretty rigourous and convincing…I quickly scanned through the 34 talent themes(http://gmj.gallup.com/book_center/strengthsfinder/) and my feeling is that the following themes seem to be important for community coordinators:(Theme descriptions borrowed from the gallup site)1.Connectedness:People strong in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are fewcoincidences and that almost every event has a reason.2.Includer:People strong in the Includer theme are accepting of others. They show awareness of those who feel left out, and make an effort to include them. 3.Maximizer:People strong in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.4.Relator:People who are strong in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.5.Woo:People strong in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection withanother person.Im sure that there would be tremendous interplay between these themes and others…But then the authors suggests that a theme like “Woo” which I guess is absolutely important for a community coordinator cannot be really learnt…May be someone who does not have the Wootheme may become a little better at it after some training but then if his brain is not wired for it(if it is not one of his top five themes)…he may never be able to Woo new community members…This was my post in the com-prac yahoo groups initially….and this is what John Smith of Learning Alliances had to say :
“* an attribution problem. We may all want to woo, for example, but situations conspire to prevent it, making us clumsy and ineffective.We repel those we seek to woo and don’t know wny. Telling the difference between a person’s “intention” and “their situation” is messy,situated, learned, etc. see: Catherine Durnell Cramton, “Attribution in DistributedWork Groups”, chapter 8, pp 191-212 in Hinds, Pamela J. and Sara Kiesler.Distributed Work. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002.* the other hot-button word in your post is “after some training”. Which would bring up the idea that WATCHING how someone woos new members into a community maybe the only way to learn to do it. That might mean participating in a community of practice. Somehow a series of instructional bullets about how to do it (e.g., you discuss the benefits before talking about costs, or something), seems, well, not wooing enough!”


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