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Teach them how to fish: Empowering community self-sufficiency using roundtable discussions

Posted Apr 04, 2023 | Views 386
# Community Roundtable
# Engagement
# How To
Tim Laboy-Coparropa
Tim Laboy-Coparropa
Tim Laboy-Coparropa
Head of Community @ ELC
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Kyle Sutton
Kyle Sutton
Kyle Sutton
Head of Strategy & Operations @ Gradual

I am an avid learner and driven to help others succeed.

I pride myself on being able to pick things up quickly and translate between the technical and the high level.

I love any outdoor activity that involves learning something to be successful!

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I am an avid learner and driven to help others succeed.

I pride myself on being able to pick things up quickly and translate between the technical and the high level.

I love any outdoor activity that involves learning something to be successful!

+ Read More

Empower your community to take charge of their own experience and share their insights using roundtable discussions. We chat with Tim about creating and facilitating engaging roundtable discussions to foster engagement and build community and he'll share his insight on: The tips and tricks for inviting the right people to the discussion  Identifying the right people to host the first couple of sessions What does follow-up look like?  How to leverage AI technology to enhance the human experience as opposed to replacing it?

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Tim, thanks so much for joining us today to talk about the power of roundtables for Communities. I would love to kick off by having you do a quick introduction and then we're going to jump jump right into it. Yeah, sure thing. My name's Tim. I'm the head of community for ELC, which is the engineering leadership community. It's a community of about 8000 engine software engineering leaders from across the world.

Really started in San Francisco, has expanded to a global audience with smaller chapters right now, kind of across the US and starting to work abroad. Outside of my time, kind of doing community there, I'm also a graduate student at Vanderbilt studying leadership and organizational performance for a master's degree. And then before that was in kind of the community space and people and engagement for a nonprofit.

So the concept of bringing people together, community belonging is something that I've been fascinated about and heard about when I study about it and look into the research in theory and then am able to support the ELC community to do that. That's awesome. I think you're you're going to get a lot of love from people here as well who have been in community a long time and are self-described community nerds.

So this is this is a good space for it. So in that in that vein, you're coming from an approach of academic. This is this is an objective that I have. I'm curious to know from a roundtable's perspective. So the topic is how you can leverage roundtables and specifically empower community members to do those self led things. I think the common scenario is many of us are teams of one in the community space, so empowering members of the community to do that stuff is is really powerful.

What, why? Why that approach for the ELC community? What problem or challenge were you trying to solve or what potential were you trying to unlock for the community? Yeah, yeah. And I think I think I'm going to kind of interpret that right, is like, what is the purpose of that community, like in terms of programs, in terms of practicalities?

There are a thousand different methods that you can use to engage people, but they should be in service to something. So for us, it was identifying that, okay, like our purpose is to encourage peer learning, help folks be able to be innovative in their people leadership and share kind of best practices and surface insights, and then ultimately to change how leadership is talked about within the tech industry.

So to do some of those things is, okay, how do we optimize for concepts like psychological safety so that people in a very competitive space and market can come into a space and share candidly, share honestly? Okay, what does that look like? So how do we make sure that as a smaller team, how do we make sure that we can still scale and empower these conversations to happen when we're not the persons leading them?

Right? I'm not a software engineer. What I do know, though, is how to create some of these spaces. So how can I make someone comfortable enough and give them the avenue to let us know how to help themselves? And then for us to in turn be able to make that happen? So a lot of it starts with first identifying for us is identifying what are those pieces of the community, what do we want members to kind of walk away with?

What do we want them to tell their peers, their colleagues? How do we want them to feel? What do we want them to say? And then working backwards from there, recognizing that, okay, we want people to feel comfortable with other community members. We want people to be in charge of their own experience and their own story. And to see it as such that it has value, that it has worth, that there are other people in that position that could learn from them.

And ultimately, being able to make those kind of a cycle, right. How do we get people to sit in a room, recognize that, wow, that sounds like me or it's not like something I'm facing. Hey, I have this unique and interesting experience as well. Maybe I can do this, too. So I think those were some of the pieces that that led to us choosing kind of this method for for one of our avenues for engagement focused on.

Right. What the community needs and ultimately what our members were willing and able to give. You talked a little bit about the what you'll see is a community of software engineering leaders. What do you think are the characteristics of that community or the members that lends themselves to roundtables being a really effective mechanism for that community as opposed to a different community maybe, or a different mechanism.

Right. Because I know you'll see also does do some in-person events, sort of conference have dabbled in larger scale virtual events and webinars. What about that community pares or lends itself to roundtables being effective, do you think? Yeah, there are a couple of there are a couple of things. I think one element is within the industry. It's one that's kind of informed by innovation.

So when it comes to folks wanting to kind of reality test their practices and experiences that they've had and how to learn from each other, there's just this understanding of, okay, I'm going to listen to new ideas, see how that stuff's in my environment and iterate upon that. So it's a community that's really comfortable with receiving new information and sending their own information kind of out there for folks to listen and test.

I think another that that comes to mind is there's a certain level of self-awareness of I recognize that I have something to learn, but I can also support someone else because I have gone through a journey as well. So I think self-awareness and a little bit of of that piece around innovation for sure, and something that we have frankly, within the community is when when folks join our community, they fill out a profile for us.

And in that profile, it's not just, okay, where you located or what's your role, but it's also here. The things that I can support someone else do and here are the things that I need. Support it. What are the things that I want to learn? So even in the kind of the gating mechanism to have folks even enter the space, they have to have that self-awareness to let us know how we can help them and what are those elements that they need, that support, and which then kind of as we as we talk a little bit more about how we make these roundtables happen, we already know what some of our members are thinking and

anxious about and would want support with. So it really just comes down to identifying, okay, who can help, who needs that support and how do we bring people together. Yeah, yeah. I think that makes a lot of sense for the having that be the paradigm of being a part of the community. So just being familiar with, you'll see some of the other things that come to mind that I know are relevant for others.

Here is it's a, it's a hyper specific field in, you know, software engineering leadership. There's a lot of specificity. So getting general platitudes from people outside that world not as valuable. So there's a lot of value placed in. I'm talking to peers and people that that know what I know. I think they're very busy and there's a perception of like, Hey, I, I need a high trust environment.

I'm thinking about some of the other friends joining us that may be considering this. They they have a lot of similarity in those communities. There's high levels in the already high level of specificity and high need for for trust and that as well. And to kind of hold on to that, Kyle, like that feeling of someone leaving our events or seeing our content or listening to anything we want them to say, these are my people like these.

They understand that I walked into a room virtual in person, I've read this blog, whatever it might be, and it's like they see me. I am being seen and validated by what's what's being told and what's being shared. So yeah, that hyper specificity really does lend itself to to that credibility as well as just people becoming comfortable. They know what they're going to get because in a way it's like, Oh, you're me, I'm you.

Wonderful. Like we can we can cut through this and just stop and get real moving forward. Yeah, absolutely. We've talked about why let's that. I'm going to quickly gloss over what we're talking about. Environments like this with a much more Democratic discussion base. Right. There's a topic there's 15 ish 20 people joining in for conversation. Is that fair?

Any other definition of what before we get into how. Yeah, no, definitely definitely the what if kind of this environment and frankly a little bit more to your point democratize it so we'll get into the how around like okay how do we make sure that these conversations are facilitated well and some of the friction points there. But it's really about empowering folks to to recognize that they have voice and bring it into the space and then to to kind of share that with others.

What did the first attempt at this look like? So let's let's put our hats on. Say, I was I want to do a roundtable next week with members of my community, I think. Walk us through is that the basic steps to get there? And I have some specific questions along the way of, you know, how do you make sure people show up to the first one?

What what does that look like? How do you pick a topic that works? And we can I can pepper those in but with lot love the the play by play yeah so kind of laughing because the first kind of iteration of this I'm going to use that word on purpose because something that we've realized that I've learned is okay wonderful.

I guess if it didn't go great, this time, but we know the proof of concept is there. How do we well, variables can we change an account for. And so when we first started these they how we framed them, how we kind of branded them were more around, Oh, kind of like coffee chats, right? No, necessarily super set topic.

Just come join the space like we're, we're going to spend some time together, get to know each other let's say talk about again within the context of engineering leadership. Let's say we're going to talk about retention. Those weren't super heavily attended. And to your point, some of the things that we learned were they weren't specific enough, they weren't curated to the needs of our community.

We weren't empowering the right voices to be the ones leading that effort. Right? As much as I know that my community members enjoy the work that I do and love me as a person, should I be leading a conversation around retention for engineering leaders? No, I've not been in that space. What I should do, though, is find someone that can do that and then be able to build community around this person.

So those are some of the things that that I learned kind of in its first iteration as we're moving forward. So for that first one, yeah, we just invited everyone, right, and said, Hey, we're going to have this event. Would love for you to attend. Wonderful. So some of the things that we've since learned, which might be kind of going ahead of you here is one is recognizing that not everyone should be in every conversation and we don't necessarily date our roundtable discussions.

The only thing that we get for our discussions is attendee size. And we do that because we set the expectation that, hey, if you're going to be in the space, you need to be active, you need to be an active participant. And if everyone is an active participant and you have anywhere kind of above but eight to kind of like ten range, things get a little different.

Things can get a little chaotic. And we have found out that again, our audience are busy. So if we allow for 15 or so people to register, we end up in that 8 to 10 range because folks have had to reschedule things. Folks are dealing with emergencies in their day to day or in their family or whatever it might be.

So we have zeroed in on, okay, that is the size that can lead to active participation and engagement and can facilitate this kind of next piece that we learned, which is hyper curation. So when it comes to that, that event, when it comes to the invitation or how we're creating it, we now start with the end. So, okay, we know that we want people to leave feeling empowered, right?

Feeling these are my people having expanded their network, having created this almost community of practice around this topic. So how do we do that? Well, first, we need to find the right voice to be able to do that. So what we do is we go through the list of kind of topics that people have out there, which are the most kind of relevant to the time and what's going on, but also which are the ones that are mentioned the most.

Right. A little bit of context there is also important once we do that, we identify folks in the community and identified folks in the community that, hey, they have attended our previous events. They have mentioned some comments in the past. They are active and kind of engagement. Okay, let's ask let's say, hey, I saw Kyle that you're interested in teaching others about retention.

I would love to know about your experience, like what's gone on. Like, what are some of the things that lead you to have that as a strength and something you're passionate about? Once we kind of establish that same language, then wonderful. We kind of turn it on its head and say, okay, we have found our kind of champion for this topic, someone that speaks the talks, the talk, someone that is available, someone that is willing to contribute to a discussion in this format.

Now let's find who we should invite to be here. So instead of saying who can help with this topic now who who support with this topic? So we curate that list and say, Hey, like we're having a conversation that's hosted by Kyle, right? In this example, I know it'll center on this topic. Here's a little bit about Kyle and why he's passionate about it.

So your time dates, I would love to have you there. So I think we went from, okay, if we build it, they will come to okay, how do we get them to tell us what they want right when they're on board, when they come in, what topics they're interested in, and then ultimately give them the tools. We just facilitated a little bit to have them actually engage and show up in the space.

And when you say facilitate, you're talking about pre the actual session or in the in the environment itself. I just want to specify because there's a whole section celebrating the actual conversation that we enable enable their participation and absolutely insert giving, giving the tools. They're giving some of the learnings that we've realized. Right. So when it comes to our community, a lot of it is based around like specific time.

So something that can be as simple as I'm working with Kyle, kind of this champion for the topic around scheduling. It's all right, cool. What are some times please try and optimize for specific so something as simple as that can help reduce that friction of whoever is going to be kind of the host of that roundtable. So feel comfortable to recognize that, Hey, I see you.

I know what time is on your end, what or times that work for you. How do we work around your schedule and make it work that way? Got it. So we you talked about the hyper curation and finding cool to be there. What does that what does that process look like? I know you all are leveraging the gradual profiles.

Like everyone here, you can hover over somebody's name and you'll see those questions. So that's a good way to harvest and get that information. Other mechanisms that you have used or yeah, leverage to curate who is being targeted to participate in these? Yeah, sometimes just asking the question or recognizing that, hey, we've heard from community members that the topic is important, like raise your hand, respond to the swarm, react on slack, like whatever kind of listening mechanism we want to use there to get some sort of feedback going on is really helpful because if if it's kind of crickets after a while, then okay, maybe that's that's bad signal.

All right. Maybe it isn't the topic, maybe it isn't the time. So I think something to that I want to make sure that I hit on is identifying community members that are just going to tell it to you straight and the ones that you can reality test with and say, Hey, like we're thinking of doing this, we're thinking of this time, this topic, we're going to ask the community, what do you think?

Because there are there are some folks that are kind of those influencers, right, that have those fears within the community itself that you might have an eye on, but you might not necessarily be the person that folks are centered around, Right? Like, ultimately, I'm just here to facilitate the connections. I'm not here to be in all of them.

So I think making sure that those listening kind of pieces are there, whether our individual people, whether kind of technology surveys or whether. Right. Something like like creating a profile or however folks are able to kind of share their identities and their priorities to the community. Yeah. And I know in the past some of that's done. A lot of people do annual surveys or things like that.

I'm a member of a community that the way it works is if more than five people respond to something in like an email thread with a question that bubbles up to be a small roundtable style of it, it's like, All right, there's enough interest around this that we're going to we're going to host something surrounding that. What about the experience itself?

What guardrails, purpose, resources do you provide to ensure? Because we're we're essentially giving the the keys to to somebody else to to drive. What map are we giving them for, telling them kind of, hey, yeah, we got to going to end up here ish, but how you get there is up to you. Yeah. And that's, that's a bit of a kind of anxiety inducing point, right.

Because we are now telling someone else that, hey, you will now determine the fate of everyone else's engagement and interaction. And if it doesn't go well, then. Right. You can't just say, okay, I'm so sorry, because that roundtable hosts that lead. You gave them permission to represent your community. There was someone that you hold up. So how there becomes a little bit of kind of cognitive dissonance around like, oh, well, should I keep coming back to this community like engagement interactions?

It's high stakes, it's important. And I think some of the pieces that that we establish with our facilitators, right, like our we call them roundtable hosts. So with our hosts, one is centered around giving them guidelines around the agenda. We say, Hey, we want you to feel comfortable sharing this discussion and this topic and whatever format you think best.

Here are the things that we want to see. One, that it's mostly conversation based. We don't really want to see a lot of slides if it will help you tell a story and it's graphic and it's pretty wonderful. But then after that kind of we're done. So that's that's one piece, other pieces. Okay, here's kind of how much time we recommend spending on intros and even in how you provide this and frame this resource around how you want it to be facilitated, you are sending a message that isn't just, Oh, here's a good meeting structure, it's more of, Hey, spend most time and spend a third of your time on introductions.

And here are some questions to prompt that. Why? Because we want people to get to know one another, right When it comes to our end in mind is we want people to feel these are my people, right? So when it comes to this discussion, how do we make sure that we're allocating enough time to it? And then I'm giving you as the host that guideline.

You might not recognize that, Oh, okay, I need to hit on this much time because it's going to be that. But you realize, oh, can you spend a good amount of time on these intros and make sure that I'm really prepared to facilitate that? Well, similarly with the topic, we we ask them questions related to, okay, what are some questions that you can use to prompt participants?

So, oh, what was your experience with this? Or oh, here's how it related to me. What was your experience like? Something that we've started to do is kind of coach folks on using AI statements and again, just recognizing that as we're investing in these roundtable hosts to be kind of more efficient facilitators, there will be benefit not only for our community.

And this immediate roundtable role, but they will benefit long term as well in whatever space they kind of see themselves in leading any discussion conversation. So kind of from the priming of this roundtable host with, hey, look here, here's kind of a simple agenda here, some simple questions that could be good for you. We also let them know that, hey, ultimately these are the audiences and these are some of the people that might be attending.

So when it comes to registering on an event, kind of on again, we use we use graduate as a platform. You can see who's going to attend. So we encourage our hosts to, hey, a day or two beforehand, log in, see who's going to attend and just get to know your audience, get to know who else is going to be there, because it's so much more comfortable entering into a room and a discussion of it's already kind of warm.

Right? And you're entering a space of friends as opposed to, Oh, these are strangers. I don't know what I'm going to do. I don't really know how to approach that. So because your earlier question on how do we make sure that they get there is one thing. How do we make sure that they stay and then come back, then becomes its own conversation around the experience And some of these pieces on kind of host training and providing some of those resources is really key to that.

Yeah, I saw some head nuts on the stay and come back. I think that's an important piece and in a minute I want to I want to hear from others on what ground roundtables are not a new and noteworthy activity or exercise. These take all different shapes and sizes, intimate conversations, peer groups, all that sort of stuff. Curious if anyone else has kind of tips or tricks or success stories.

Critical, magnificent failures and learnings from that in your own community journeys. But I think one of the one of the next steps that I thought was really intriguing for how you all are leveraging roundtables different from more of a peer group style environment where you say like, Hey, this is strictly confidential. It's just more the people in this group that are here.

In this session, you're leveraging roundtables, maybe a little bit more broadly that it's helping generate content after the fact. Can you talk a little bit about. Yeah, Yeah. One of the things that I realized after, you know, we started having a couple of roundtables is these are really impactful. People are sharing really cool stories and experiences and, you know, how do we make sure that that kind of stories stay?

What lessons leave? So how do we make sure that the specifics of some things stay in kind of the safer space of a confidential kind of environment, but some of these like mind blowing kind of like lessons of leadership are able to be shared and the rest of the community can benefit because we know that just because, you know, we kind of only invited certain folks based on topic, you know, what I see is a problem or a strength today.

It might be a weakness tomorrow. So how can we how can we extend that life stuff kind of lifecycle? And the way that we approach that is is in a couple of different ways. And I like to think of them as artifacts. So when it comes to folks kind of in our community, something that a lot of folks want to do is, is coach.

A lot of folks want to get into supporting other engineering leaders in a more formal manner. So how can we give credibility and kind of thank our community members for for doing the work of sharing their insights? Right. So for our hosts, for example, we'll share on LinkedIn. We'll let them know that, hey, like, here's here's your event.

Feel free to share with your network. We provide that validation and really affirmation to the to the support that they're doing. And then from the discussion itself, we kind of like this one. We'll record it, but we'll let everyone know beforehand, Hey, we're going to be recording this conversation. It's going to stay internal or we're going to do with that recording as we will take the transcript and write a short blog about it.

All right. A summary of kind of what some of the key things that stood out were. We'll send it back out to everyone that was a part of this discussion for your approval. And if it's approved, wonderful. We'll attribute you all as authors and then will publish it. So it creates this wonderful like artifact of you had this insight, you created this discussion, you wanted to engage in this topic.

Why shouldn't you be recognized for that? You 100% were the author and creator of that, that insight, that knowledge, that skill. So how can we empower that? How can we take out some of that friction? So that's really our flow in a lot of times is, okay, we know who we have, how can we recognize and kind of think them with within our promotion efforts for the roundtable itself, within in the community and then for some of our external audiences, then within the roundtable itself, how can we take some of those learnings and attribute some of these artifacts that we're able to generate?

And this is where things like A.I. can really help, right? It's it's generative. It can help you kind of like look out like, okay, I thought these are some main key points and summaries on the transcript. What did some software think about where key points and main takeaways? And then what did the roundtable think were key points and takeaways?

So I'm really like passionate about this concept of how can we continue to be data driven, but human informed? Because at the end of the day, our community are human beings, right? So how do we make sure that their insights are what is ultimately being used and being shared with the rest of the community while reducing the friction as much as possible, And some of those barriers for entry that some of our community members may have faced in the past when it comes to sharing their experience, their voice, their their their struggles and their successes as well.

Yeah, I, I think that there's also an easy argument to make of the authenticity of the conversation doesn't go away. I'm leveraging some efficiency building tools like, you know, I can throw it through Chatty Betty and say, Hey, summarize this for me for the key takeaways. When we think about it realistically, a community team of 1 to 2, you know, in some places there's oftentimes there's not a content machine behind our community activities.

So there's no one that we can say, Hey, go listen through this whole transcript. Please write a blog post. We're going to publish it later. Unless you know you're the super person. That's that is Laura, who's just, you know, that's that's what that's what she does. But or gets is very passionate about that content creation. So there's an argument to be made of hey, this is very this roundtable session is very impactful for the people that are there, but only for the people that are there.

So how do I how do I help share that wealth creating still some FOMO because you weren't in the conversation, right? You and there's some desire to be Oh, I want to be attributed. I want to I want to make a name for myself in this professional space, and I'm given a platform to do so. And I get recognized for that helps you as the community leader because you don't have to generate all these ideas and content helps them as the contributor because they get to to build their own personal brand and an awareness around this.

And and I think to that point, you look at why the community started, right? There was ultimately this is a space where I can learn there's a space where I can interact and I spend my network have that feeling of these are my people generating kind of a blog post. And this artifact out of a discussion still serves all of those outcomes.

So ultimately, and now we've gotten to a point where we'll send out invitations to roundtable discussions and people will say, Hey, I am so sorry. I couldn't attend. I know that they're really valuable and sometimes will get that from people that previously haven't attended a roundtable discussion. So there is now the culture and the understanding within the community is that, hey, maybe this isn't one that I'm able to attend.

Maybe it's not a topic that I'm passionate about or interested in, but I know that they are valuable. So how you think about that kind of lifecycle of the program and even how you evaluate it, which is something that I know we necessarily haven't touched on, but what is the feedback in the signal that you're getting before, during and after?

How do you embed that within your processes in a tight form at the end of the program? Is it, you know, just, hey, sending out emails, we're going to do kind of some one on one catch ups and just see what you thought. What are some of those pieces that would allow you to continue to listen to the community so that you can keep iterating because the needs of the community today might be totally different six months from now?

Right. I think for for us, a lot of the community is is anxious around, you know, there's a lot of tech layoffs. So how can we continue to listen to what specific support they're looking for? Okay. It's not a roundtable focused on how do you support a team going through this process? Is that, oh, you know, are working parents within the community?

Are now feeling a specific and very acute level of anxiety around, oh, well, I'm also a parent, How can I support. So it's like how do we then take what they're giving us and make it into something that is good, not just in real time, like a discussion, but then can extend it to more folks. And these feel the community, the machine.

I say that tongue in cheek rate of hey, I participated in roundtable. I want more of that. Okay, well hey, go join a peer group which is one of the paid programs. And as a revenue source or I really value these discussions. So that becomes a central central pillar of the conference or the summit that that's what draws people.

So it's not just this as a standalone activity. This can serve as an entry point and gateway for for a lot of other community activities as well. And with with kind of our teams like specific role when the discussion is actually happening, we'll help. We'll say, Hey, I'm here kind of to serve as a producer, right? I'm here to make sure there's no tech issues.

I'm here to take notes, I'm here to support, but just pretend that I'm not here and this will be great. So I think even then, just continuing to find ways to kind of embody that like servant side of things, like I'm in service to this discussion, like how can I make sure that that that is understood? But it also serves as a way to identify talent in the future because it's like, Oh, wonderful.

Laura had some really good comments to say during this discussion. How do let me reach out to her afterwards and say, Hey, thank you so much. Like, would you be interested in doing this yourself? So it's been allows for that cycle to continue. So I would kind of also encourage that to continue to elevate the program as folks are considering it and is a good way to identify specific cohorts to say, Oh wow, there's that had a lot I did not know there was not much appetite around that topic or from that group within the community.

So we can serve, serve them. Others that are here, that are community, you all are community pros and live in this space. What have your insights or input been from your own roundtable experiences? What questions do you have for Tim or others would love to to do a little bit of group chatting and then going to split us into some breakouts for a prompt.

So the theme being how do you get started with roundtables on your own? I've got a prompt that Tim and I brainstorm for that but would love to hear from from anyone. Feel free to drop to the chat, come off mute, raise your hand if you really want and and share your own your own insights and thoughts. And maybe if you've run, I'll put a specific point on the question of somebody using the hand race.

I love it. Go for it, Joseph Have at it and I it first off I just want to say thanks. This is a real treat to tune into a talk like this. I've been out of the formal community like learning environment for years and years and years. So this is I feel like it's like Christmas morning and I'm opening presents.

Everything you say to him. So thanks for that. Yeah. Good. I wanted to just reflect on I've been saying I've been at this since 2006 and one of, I should say the online portion of this since 2006. There's what we're doing in-person translates into what we're doing online. Right. And I always use a simple analogy. It's the eighth grade dance.

You know, if it's not a curated, facilitated experience, you know, you get a bunch of kids on one wall, bunch of kids on another wall, and that's it.

So I really appreciated you saying speaking to the point of like, well, being welcoming people, reaching out to them, understanding I really love the job theory framework. I'll drop a link into some great articles after I talk here that really informed my thinking. But there's something to be said for like engaging with people. And I do a lot of keynotes and I do smaller presentations and in smaller ones I always get there like 20 minutes before and I greet people at the door like, Hey, welcome, thanks for coming.

So something you really wanted to learn today, or is there something on your mind that we can address? Like it shows respect, it creates intimacy, but it really demonstrates that you're there for them. And I feel like those like facilitation skills, those it's a it's a simply acknowledge like, hey, I see you. You chose to be here. You're a human being.

I'm a human being. Like, I honor that. Like, there's something really magical about that. A lot of I've read I try and read a fair amount of community like literature stuff and whatever, but I don't often hear the word like refer to the magic, the human magic. Like at the end of the day, we're going to have a relationship, right?

And like, how how did you make me feel? How do I make you feel? Like I feel like all that's really important and it's really basic and I, I, I don't, I don't want to say me. I don't want to use the word basic to demean it in any way. But it is it's just it's fundamental. I actually I think it's there.

I think there's a deficit and I think we're like anemic in even how we interact with each other, like every day at work and like in public, right? Like I once I do a lot of social experiments and one of experiments was I started saying hi to everybody. I used to live in a neighborhood called Jamaica Plain in Boston.

It's back in like the mid 2000, and I would walk to my little city feed coffee shop every morning. I would say hi to every single person on the street. People are like, Oh my God, here comes a friendly guy. And they like, cross the street. Right? Then a couple of years later they're like, Hey, Joseph, good morning.

And the people like, Why would you do that? I don't. I just want to know, like people who live here and find it makes me feel good. But I feel like that experience applies to everything we do. Like are we going to have fun? And and I also I think it it also ties into like, leadership. Like, do I want to seem bigger and greater than you and step on you in the way or do I see leadership as my job is helping like lift everybody else up?

Right. And I feel like that really makes a big difference. Yeah. And just kind of to that point, I think something that is so easy to to kind of forget about is Kyle kind of used that word fundamental right at the end of the day like a lot around community is okay what are some of the what are the things we can track, What are the things we can control?

What are the things we can manage? We can manage attendance, we can manage any number of things. But how do we make sure that those fundamentals, at the end of the day, how can we serve this community to reach that end goal? Whatever that end goal stated in the community might be is something that can be easy to forget, right?

So for for us, one of our one of our team members who runs our podcast, Patrick, you'll always and generally ask people what they had for breakfast that day, kind of just to start a conversation. And I always thought it was really peculiar. But I realize now all of us kind of start our day in a unique way.

So how do we find that commonality of, Oh, okay, Like this is something that, oh, I had coffee. Cool. No one else said, That's still cool. I heard someone else's like, morning routine. So I think as we go through kind of these conversations around bringing people into a space, right. What are the rules that we're establishing for them?

But then what are the expectations that we're holding ourselves to? So how do we make sure that we are able to live those fundamentals out as opposed to necessarily just seeking to potentially drive some of the other metrics that can be really fun to chase down? Yeah, thanks. That insight, Joseph. I want to make sure we have time to connect with one another on that theme.

Right. It's all about being humans and connecting. So what we're going to do is in a second you're going to get a notification to join a breakout room or roundtable breakout room within here to have a conversation around a topic. That topic is what is a conversation or source of inspiration for a roundtable within your community? Specifically, is there a person that you've talked to that's a community member that you're like, Wow, that would be a great person to identify, to host a roundtable, and here's a topic.

And if you don't have that or haven't had that conversation recently, what are mechanisms or sources that you could rely on? Maybe a survey is feedback loops, regular calls or conversations to source such a topic or an idea within your own community. That's going to be our topic. Anything that you'd add to that team before we open these up?

I think it's thinking practical, right? Like the first step is not going to be perfect, so let's not let perfect be the enemy of good. So what can be that first thing if you don't have listening kind of methods yet? Okay. What can some of those listening methods be if you don't have if you have great listening methods and it's just okay, like, how do we cap our attendance number?

How do we curate? Like just think about what how do we make sure good can happen? I like it. Minimum viable products here. All right, Laura, take it away and open up those. More or not, Laura, I will say quickly, thank you so much for being here. If anyone has a heart stopping needs to leave, I want to be very respectful of your time.

So by all means, thank you. Good night. Good morning. Wherever you are in the world, feel free to go and I'll put a bow on it there.

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