Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Group Management Strategies and Thank You to the Members

Writers on the Move has been around since October 21, 2008, and is an interactive group of wonderful and talented authors and writers, and I value the members' input, ideas and suggestions, and feedback - we're a team. 

The group has seen a couple of name changes, a logo and site theme change, and marketing strategy changes. Through it all there are members here since it began and others who have been with the group for a long while, and I thank them for all their support and effort in making the group work, and for putting up with me.

What I've noticed Sunday, is that I at times act on impulse, rather than reflecting on what I do, I jump in. I'm not sure if it's because I try to do too much, or it's just in my nature - it's probably a combination of both though.

Since I scramble to find time to do all there is to do, when I see something, or think there's something the group needs to be informed about, or there are changes they need to know about, I jump on it. An example is this past Sunday.

In our group, we have member folders. We used them for storing information for our virtual tours. Since we abandoned the tours for an informational content based marketing strategy, there didn't seem to be a need for them. So, without looking forward, I let the group in on my thoughts of deleting the folders.

While this is a good thing, keeping the group in the loop and listening to feedback, taking the time to fully think something through will usually alleviate confusion and needless work. But, I sent a Special Message to our new members not to add any content to their member folders.

Was this unnecessary? YES.
Was it a waste of time and energy? YES.
Did it add more needless email to the members inbox? YES.

I've also realized I tend to post a number of messages for the group all in one day, as I'm evaluating what's going on or changes - they may not hear from me in a week or so, and then BAM.

Reflecting, this may not be the best way to handle it. Maybe a message a day? In my defense, I can't add too many notes to one message, no one wants to read a long message, but I'll be asking the group for different ways I can present information, so it doesn't feel like a bombardment.

I'm going to make a conscious effort to stop and think before acting.

I'm sure some of you readers may be wondering why am I'm sharing this information with you.

Simple. 'An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.' 'A stitch in time, saves nine.' Try not to do what I tend to do. Always think before you act - in all aspects of your life.

This post can also help other group managers, or those thinking of forming and managing a group, to step back and think before acting. Everyone is so busy today, as a manager don't add to the busyness of your group members. Once you've thought it fully through, say only what really needs to be said as briefly as possible.

A strategy I may start using is to list the things that need to be addressed, whether new information, changes, or other, in a Word doc. Then, review it, maybe even waiting a day, and then decide what's absolutely necessary and how to present it.

If you Writers on the Move members are reading this, let me know when I go astray. :)

Until next time,
Karen Cioffi

Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

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