The Ted Lasso Approach To Building Community
If you have never seen an episode of Ted Lasso, then I apologize that this post might not make any sense to you, but I promise it’s going to be entertaining!
“You know what the happiest animal on Earth is? It’s a goldfish. You know why? Got a ten-second memory. Be a goldfish, Sam.”
In the show, one of the football players makes a mistake, and then Coach Lasso tells him to “be a goldfish.” How many times have you made a mistake when it came to running your community? And how many times did you let thoughts of that mistake fester and distract you? If that happens again, try being a goldfish.
“Takin’ on a challenge is a lot like riding a horse. If you’re comfortable while you’re doin’ it, you’re probably doin’ it wrong.”
If you’ve taken on the challenge of building and managing a community, then you probably already know a bit about the uncomfortable parts of the role. This field can be inspiring, enlightening, confusing, and exciting all at the same time. Get ready to get uncomfortable, but I promise you, it will be worth it in the end.
“I promise you, there is something worse out there than being sad. And that is being alone and being sad. Ain’t no one in this room alone.”
For many of us, this quote speaks to one of the reasons why we do this work…because we don’t want to be alone, and we don’t want anyone else to feel that way either. Remember that when you are introducing community members to one another or interacting with them.
“I want you to know, I value each of your opinions, even when you’re wrong.”
There will always be at least one community member who thinks they know exactly how you should run the community, and they aren’t afraid to tell you. If you are a community manager for a brand, you’ve probably also encountered some executive who thinks they know what’s best for the community even though they’ve never spent more than 30 seconds on yours. No matter the situation, there’s a lesson Coach Lasso is teaching here, and that is to listen. There’s no harm in taking the time to listen to those comments and sit with them, even if the end result means you won’t be implementing them. At least you listened.
Side note: Let me know if you want to jump into a Racket to chat about Ted Lasso, building community, or both!