Help people find their entry points
Even if you’ve created a safe space for uncomfortable discussions, your members still may need an extra nudge to jump in. At Public, members of our community who are newer to investing may not feel like they have enough knowledge to actively participate in conversations.
But by learning about the products that they use in their day-to-day lives, we can often make connections to publicly traded companies that they actually know a lot about. A runner may have a favorite apparel or shoe brand, and if that’s a publicly traded company, then talking about that company gives them a foothold (pun intended) into talking about investing.
In your role as a community leader, you’ve likely put in the work to get to know your members, so put that knowledge to use to ask questions or help point out areas of connection for them. Identifying areas of familiarity for a member within a larger discussion is a great way to encourage them to be a more active participant.
Protect the space
Having clear community guidelines is crucial for any community, to set expectations around what behavior is and is not acceptable within your community space. If your community is covering sensitive or uncomfortable topics, community guidelines become even more important in order to protect the trust built among members.
Inclusive language or personal privacy may be especially important to you as you define rules for your community. Make sure your community guidelines are clearly outlined and easy to find (Alex Angel wrote a great post on that here), and react swiftly anytime the rules are violated.
As the leader of your community, protecting the space will reinforce your members’ trust in the safety of the environment where uncomfortable conversations are taking place.
For more tips and guidance, read the full version of this article here.