How to be part of a community without being judged?

by Ashvini on February 5, 2013 · 12 comments

in Entrepreneurship

When you join a new group online and/or  offline, what is the first thing you do? No you don’t start telling about yourself, unless someone asks you. You sit around and listen to what others are saying. Why ? Because probably they were there before you. Because you are barely aware of the rules of engagement. Because they have been in more meetings than you were.

Offer your opinion politely. If you add value, people will listen. Don’t overdo it, you might hijack groups agenda and make yourself unpopular. Don’t site quiet also. You need to speak a little to get noticed.

Engage, listen, don’t interrupt, create meaningful conversation, do not unnecessarily argue. Disagree but don’t try to mould people to your way of thinking. Talk logically and slowly. Talk less and listen more.

When you join a new group, do not try to impress everyone with your knowledge, even if you know a lot of things. Let the things sink in slowly.


Keep in simple and low key for a few first times. When people learn that you know stuff, they will naturally be inclined to know about you more . Be patient, good things will come to you.

It is so obvious , isn’t it?

Yes, but if you ask me and I am a moderator of a Facebook group, I have to repeat it regularly. It is not really that obvious :)

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Zalando June 10, 2013 at 11:05 am

This topic is something I would like to ENGAGE in and talk about :)

Well, Its true that new comers who join a community/group often get excited and wants to burst all the way in to get his ideas/thoughts noticed among others, whereas senior ones feel annoyed which is natural. So, it really depends on person to person and I would say its all about MATURITY LEVEL. One should read this post, especially the young ones It ll be a great benefit.

sulekha March 30, 2013 at 10:16 pm

I have seen group meetings destroyed because the new guy has something to tell. Then he goes on and on with no stopping, often leaving others in frustration .

Lisa Magoulas February 17, 2013 at 8:07 am

Ashvini, I really enjoyed this post. There have been so many times I have been in meetings where people walk in for the first time and just take over. It’s very frustrating. I wish more people could see this post. Thanks for sharing.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena February 28, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Hi Lisa,
We have all gone through that phase when new comers just took over a meeting to the frustration of veterans. If moderators do not control such a situation, I get out of there fast :D. Thanks for your comment :)

Aayna February 12, 2013 at 10:56 am

Indeed correct, the bottom line is to understand the members and the group, on entering a new group; instead of acting like a blabber. A normal and adequate relationship should be maintained with the members and let the time take the charge. Thanks for the share.

Sonia Winland February 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm

I am like that when I join groups big time. I tend to sit back and watch for a while to see what people are saying and the types of engagement, if any, there are. Who dominates the conversation and who adds consistent value.

If I see a topic that interests me I will respond, but I tend to choose my words carefully until I get to know everyone. People will judge you regardless, but I don’t focus on who don’t like, what sense does that make? I focus on people that help others and how I can help others too.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena February 7, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Hi Sonia,

This post was not really for engagement experts :D. It was written to tell people who do not genuinely know how to join in a group. I have seen group meetings destroyed because the new guy has something to tell. Then he goes on and on with no stopping, often leaving others in frustration .
I hope if someone is reading this , they will get the tips that you have offered .

Thanks for your comments and hope you are having a great time.

MANICKAM VIJAYABANU February 7, 2013 at 10:55 am

“Disagree but don’t try to mold people”..Well said Ashvini. :)

Its all about how you want to pave the path and open the new communication channel. Its kind of art and people need to understand what’s real communication :)

Daria Steigman February 7, 2013 at 4:56 am

Hi Ashvini,

Sound advice that I wish more people followed. I just joined a new Google+ community, and they offer the opportunity to “introduce” yourself. But why would I want to give an elevator speech to people who don’t know me at all? I’ve chosen instead to share good content and let the conversations evolve organically.

Tim Bonner February 7, 2013 at 3:37 am

I couldn’t have put it better Ashvini!

I’ve had the experience of people taking over before and people tend to veer away from the group rather quickly.

On the other hand, if no-one takes the lead, the group will break up anyway.

Adrienne February 6, 2013 at 4:51 am

It is obvious Ashvini unless you’re me! I have a pretty big personality and sometimes when people aren’t speaking up I just can’t help myself. But, I also don’t like to step on anyone’s toes either.

It is really best to get the lay of the land before jumping in head first. I definitely agree with you there.


Lori Gosselin February 5, 2013 at 8:46 pm

That’s what I do! ;-)
You’ve got to get the feel for things before you try to take over ;-0

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