The Four Main Conflicts in a Community and How to Deal With Them – Ep 12

When you have a community, you are guaranteed to have conflicts. It’s how you handle them that matters. In this episode we talk about the four main types of conflicts that usually arise within groups and how to handle them as a community leader.

Episode Highlights:

Issue 1: When People Feel They Aren’t Heard
The most common conflict arises when people feel they aren’t being heard by the leader or by other members.

  • Feelings of not being heard or being misunderstood are the most common conflicts that arise in communities. The best thing to do is to take it offline and take avoid having a discussion in the open group – try to understand why the person doesn’t feel heard.
  • Once you have an understanding, see if you can come to an agreement with members.
  • Build in ways for community members to be heard, like a regular sharing post.

Issue 2: When There are Disagreements among members
Over time, as in all groups, cliques tend to form. It is natural that people gravitate to each other and interact outside of your group. As a result, sometimes, one group will have a problem with a particular member or second group.

  • Disagreements among members can happen when people gravitate into subgroups. Work to dismantle the issue before it festers into something bigger. Don’t take sides, hear everyone’s point of view and find a solution if you can.
  • People may quit your group and feel it’s not for them anymore, but don’t take it personal. Focus on helping people and stay the course.

Issue 3: When You Have Trolls in Your Community
Hopefully, you will carefully monitor who is allowed in your group. As we mentioned in Ep 11, you should have people opt in to a mailing list before you let them in your online group. However, that may not be your model, and even if it is, trolls or determined detractors will go through the process to get into your group and cause issues.

  • Trolls may pop up and turn on the community. Deal with it privately to find a solution. If it can’t be resolved, you may have to ask them to leave or remove them from the group. Your community expects you to deal with trolls in a constructive manner but may also join in the fight against them.
  • Take the proper responsibility, take screenshots and maintain records for reference in case you need to report a troll or even involve the authorities.

Issue 4: When Your Community Has Drama
People may suddenly quit a community very vocalized manner and may continue to post negatively for a group, which becomes a reputation crisis for the leader. Don’t create any additional drama by begging someone to stay or come back. If they want to leave, let them leave.

  • Social media is so much like texting and people can’t see the emotion behind things that are said. People sometimes take things the wrong way or perceive things as mean or rude. Things can be taken the wrong way, so the way you deal with it is what really matters
  • Where you can, speak to people that leave your community to understand what you can improve and do better within your community.
  • As a leader, don’t defend yourself publicly by openly arguing with your detractors because it makes you appear very defensive. Stay above the fray and only respond in a constructive manner


Create a mini-crisis plan for how you’d deal with one or more of these conflict situations and send us a tweet @MadalynSklar and @kamichat.

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How to Reach Kami Huyse:

If you’d like to learn more about Kami, visit her website at www.zoeticamedia.com. You can contact her by email at kami@zoeticmedia.com or tweet to @KamiChat.

How to Reach Madalyn Sklar:

If you’d like to learn more about Madalyn, visit her website at www.madalynsklar.com. You can contact her by email at madalyn@madalynsklar.com or tweet to @MadalynSklar.

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