Forums

If you're not participating in the forums, you're missing out. Why? Here's what works for me.

1. Exposure to management issues.
Sure, I have enough issues of my own, but I'm very close to them. I have more objectivity on issues here because I'm not so close to them.

2. Exposure to management issues.
Practice. Practice. Practice.

3. Exposure to management issues.
I get to see a breadth of issues that my small business doesn't have.

4. Exposure of management issues.
I can get help when I'm stuck.

5. Exposure to management approaches.
I get to see how other managers approach an issue differently than I do.

6. Exposure to management critique.
My approach gets commented on by other managers, as well as M&M. Where else can you get that kind of feedback?

So, if you're not participating, you're really missing out.

wendii's picture

Awesome list Will!

Wendii

asteriskrntt1's picture

While I don't have any stats to prove this, I think the participation levels on the forums probably reflect the various disc profiles, leadership styles and risk tolerances of people.

Some people are just afraid to post, don't want the obligation of helping out, or have whatever other personal challenge they have that prevents them from being active participants.

It is kind of like the Empowerment models that HR and Org B "experts" have been trying to shove down our throats. I am sorry but not everyone wants to be empowered. They just want to do their thing, work their 40 hours and get on with their non-work lives.

I find the same in many organizations I volunteer with. There is a certain percentage of the people who regularly step up and contribute, but most don't (although they are often the first to complain when things are not going the way they want them to).

The latter group really needs some incentive to move out of their comfort zones. What that is, I have no clue.

Sorry if this was soap-boxy. I should leave that to the experts :D

jwyckoff's picture

I used to run a niche-community website that had forum functionality. As I looked at hit counts of visitors, sessions, etc., I was always amazed by how many "lurkers" we had. It's kind of like NPR -- 5% of the people contribute 95% of the funding/resources/information/content/whatever.

When I met some of these lurkers in person, they were rabid fans of the site, and could almost quote verbatim what transpired on the boards the previous days.

There [b]is[/b] value in just being a lurker. Depending on where you are in your career, you might have nothing to contribute... right now. The lurker reads and reads and reads, gaining all this management-goodess. Once the lurker becomes a manager, they will become a rock-star manager and (hopefully) both post questions and give advice using their real-world experience.

Just my 2 cents.

WillDuke's picture

I have no problem with lurking. I lurked here for quite a while. Lurking is, IMHO, a passive form of participation.

I have recently become inspired, must be the sunshine, to take a chance and venture forth with an opinion. These forays have forced me to think very carefully about what I really think. I frequently start typing away only to discover what I really think is entirely different and I start all over again.

The value for me was in doing the critical thinking. There is further value in having a community think back at me, challenge my assumptions. And it's very flattering/encouraging to have someone agree with something you said.

You can certainly think critically without blasting your opinion to the world. I have found that blasting my opinion to the world encourages me to think a lot harder. Perhaps that is a personality trait.

thaGUma's picture

oooo awful term 'lurker'. The passive viewer gains from the experience of reading great advice from people willing to give of their time, to share issues and contribute to discussions by others.

Oftentimes, my posts are basic; I agree/I don't agree type. There are a core of contributers who knock my socks off with the obvious thought given to a single post. I wish I were one. I am grateful to be benefiting from their views and the M&M treatment.

Confession. I have been known to compose a reply. Read the result and then delete without posting. I feel I haven't 'hit the mark' so I happily sit and wait for someone to contribute.

Having said all that - I would be really happy to see more contributers.

Chris

RichRuh's picture

Chris--

You're not alone in the "write a post- reread- delete" category. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not shy, so that's not it. Sometimes when I get to the end, I look back and ask "Did I add any value?" and the answer is "no". (And sometimes the Internet eats my reply, but that's another story).

Nothing wrong with that, or with lurking. Or with contributing. These forums are invaluable to many of us, myself included. And fun, too. I keep up with them even when I fall behind on my team members blogs... :oops:

--Rich

Mark's picture

Sad to think that someone is a manager and doesn't want "the obligation of helping out."

Reminds me of the old saw that wanting the job of US President is proof that the person isn't fit for the job.

We're happy to have anyone willing to contribute or learn, even if they don't help.

If you're a manager and need help, we're glad you're here.

Mark

juliahhavener's picture

I love the forums. I really feel like it's some small opportunity for me to add value back into everything Mike and Mark have done. They give us Manager Tools each week, registered casts each month, and these forums. We build the forums (they can't only rest on the shoulders of M&M) with our questions, our answers, and our discussions.

kaspar's picture

[quote="WillDuke"]These forays have forced me to think very carefully about what I really think. I frequently start typing away only to discover what I really think is entirely different and I start all over again.

The value for me was in doing the critical thinking. There is further value in having a community think back at me, challenge my assumptions. And it's very flattering/encouraging to have someone agree with something you said.
[/quote]

Maybe I may add a personal plus. To al lot of us English is not our first language. Reading about and writing down your opinion on management-issues also teaches us a bit more on English.

Kaspar

karaikudy's picture

Will,
Interesting post, I am one of the many who benefits a lot. Great way to exchange thoughts, ideas, concepts, fear, uncertainty and the help is always there.

Just did a stats check. (Got addicted to the stats since in my present job the motto is what can not be measured and quantified shouldn't be done).
Total Members 16,940 (As of 29.9.07 1630 IST).

Posting more than

10 posts in forum 176 Members

9-2 posts in forum 550 Members

1 Post 350 Members.

Rest all 0 posts 16940- 1075= [b]15,875.[/b]

See the untapped potential for ideas and views. Wish people just shoot their thoughts.

Regards
Karthik.

mobrian's picture

Okay, maybe I don't post as much as I should, but I do enjoy looking through the forum and see what you all are saying. Actually I think many of you are faster at posting then I am.

I get so busy at the office, that my only time to check is at night or weekend. How are you all doing this?

6 posts and counting, so I am not in your stats yet :P

juliahhavener's picture

I work probably a few too many hours during the week. If you look at my posts' time stamps, you'll find them all between the hours of 6 pm and 2 am on weeknights (EST), and who knows when on weekends. If someone's beaten me to the punch I often let it lie. If someone else has posted and I want to add a viewpoint, perspective, or different opinion, I post anyway.

And, well, I talk a lot. And type 85 wpm. Sometimes it's the same thing.

peterlevy's picture

[quote="karaikudy"]

Posting more than

10 posts in forum 176 Members

9-2 posts in forum 550 Members

1 Post 350 Members.

Rest all 0 posts 16940- 1075= [b]15,875.[/b]

See the untapped potential for ideas and views. Wish people just shoot their thoughts.

Regards
Karthik.[/quote]

Be careful what you wish for. If that came true we'd have to choose between reading MT forums and doing our day jobs.