As forum administrators, we find ourselves constantly striving to achieve success, whether it be via statistical data (e.g. daily activity averages) or the mere feeling of accomplishing something great. In any case, maintaining a healthy relationship with your community is crucial. This is not only the case with those who have decided to register for the discussion, but also with those who ultimately assist you in the 'behind the scenes' activities and events that take place on a day-to-day basis. I am, of course, referring to the hard-working, passionate team members who assist in maintaining the integrity of a discussion community. Let's face it; balancing the workload that comes standard with an administration-based position can prove to be quite difficult. As such, working with a team and delegating the load evenly can be an invaluable asset to not only yourself, but the community in general. Each member of a forum team is different and naturally, will not all agree on certain matters or situations. Because of this, it is important to maintain a healthy relationship and positive outlook at all times. This can be achieved in a variety of ways. Delegate Fairly The sheer amount of effort and work directed into a discussion forum is a mind-blowing figure in itself. Whether it be dealing with consistently problematic members or improving upon the appearance and feel of the community, delegating work and 'spreading it out' amongst each member of a team is the appropriate course of action to take. As administrators, we naturally have the majority of responsibility. That said, it takes a team to 'make' a community. If there is an overbearing list of tasks that must be completed, be sure to consult with your team to work out some sort of deadline (one in which can be achieved without causing stress or overloading a select group of team members in particular). If one individual feels as though they have been given too much to handle, make an attempt to discuss an alternative method of completion, or, simply delegate that percentage of unfinished work to another team member who is willing to take charge. Listening to what each individual has to say is a common sense move. If someone voices their dislike toward your delegation method, listening to them (even if it's not your first choice) shows a great deal of respect and compassion. You never know; said respect could be returned to you sometime in the future. You get what you give. Be fair in your logic and open to change. Create a Drama-Free Environment One cannot focus when there is an obvious scent of tension in the air. If you find that many of your team members tend to become involved in unnecessarily dramatic or problematic situations on a consistent basis, take charge and make attempts to resolve (as opposed to blindly dissolving) the situation on a per-case basis. The clashing of opinions is something that will naturally arise at some point in the game, however this does not necessarily entitle those involved to create a messy situation for the rest of the team (and the community, for that matter). If you feel that you cannot peacefully place the matter to rest within the community, kindly suggest that the issue be discussed outside of the forum environment. The last thing that anyone needs is for a tense situation, regardless of its size, to become overbearing and ultimately, a concern. These situations can have a tendency to migrate from 'hidden' to 'public', and should one spiral out of control and somehow attract the attention of the rest of the community, the forum could suffer. Stay one step ahead. If you sense even the slightest bit of tension, take action immediately. Reward Your Team As much as we may love the thrills of being forum developers, administrators, and team members, achieving this feeling and sense of security is no easy task. Your team members work hard in an effort to assist you in the growth, success, and quality of your community, and in turn, you should give them something back. Your appreciation can be shown in any of the following ways: Make your appreciation known. This can be achieved by simply publicly thanking them, contacting them privately, or announcing their work ethic to the community. Giving someone a virtual 'pat on the back' is an invaluable gesture... one that is often overlooked. Give them a gift. While this is not necessary, I do feel that providing hard-working team members with some sort of gift is a sign of respect and kindness. Whether it be a gift card, a generous web hosting package, or some other desired good, taking such initiative will assist in letting your 'true appreciation colors' shine through. Promote when deserved. Rather than promoting another member of the community, first take a look at your current team and make a selection from within. Why add another (new) member when your existing staff team is jam-packed with passionately prime candidates? Your team is a family. Treating them with the utmost respect is only going to further your community in the near future. Yes, you're going to bicker. Yes, you're going to disagree. Then again, who doesn't? It is only natural. If you're happy, your team is going to remain happy. And if your team is happy, your community is going to succeed.