Yammer Post: What is the Instructor Community REALLY about?

The Instructor Community is a professional learning network for our customers to exchange ideas and strategies to help deliver effective training no matter where they are in the world.

That’s the official statement.

The best part is, it’s true.

We’ve got people who pop in and out at all hours of the day, all days of the week. And it works because when it comes down to it, it’s still about the conversation.

And these conversations span specialties, disciplines, industries, and organizations.

This isn’t that easy to get over email. It’s very easy to get with Yammer.

Yellow Call Duckling and Mallard Duckling


There’s another reason why the fact that this works at all is so important to us. We have several specialties to choose among for training, and sometimes there’s a feel of “us vs them” out in the real world.

Yet here in the Community, we’ve found that people rarely self-identify as to what kind of Instructor they are.

Instead, they talk about:

  • Where they work. They’re bus drivers, security officers, educators, long-term care nurses.
  • What they need. Help. Advice. A different way to look at things. A great solution to a challenging problem.
  • What they want to share. “Here’s a form I made that helped me in my org.” “I’ve just uploaded this video clip that really helped my staff during a recent refresher.”

Here are the categories these discussions align with. I’m using Eyeball Science to make this chart, but:


This is highly unscientific.


Look at that. Questions & Answers. That’s what I see the most out there, what our customers are using this space for; they’re asking those tough training questions and share insightful answers in turn.

And this is brilliant, because it means they’re finding value in signing up, logging on, and returning to this space for more.

They’ve found that they can extend their training when office hours are closed.

And they’ve found that people who do what they do every day, even if it’s in a different country and for a different industry, can help them do their own jobs even better.

There’s a Yammer saying that “You never know who knows something,” and that’s been proven true again and again.

Every day I see people learning from each other because they’re quite literally asking everybody else in the Community for help the moment they post a question.

Because here’s what I never see: “This question is for Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® Instructors ONLY,” or “I work in behavioral health and only want behavioral health people to respond to this.”

So I feel confident in saying that our Instructor Community is also about inclusion.

What’s your online community about? Does it reflect what goes on offline?


Social Media Isn’t Supposed to Be About Sharing?


In 30 Things You Should Not Share On Social Media, the premise is that in order to “protect your reputation, personal brand, your bank account and your privacy,” you must be very careful what you post on social media platforms. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the author is talking about Facebook.

A lot of the points made are good and full of common sense; you don’t want to post on Facebook that you’re taking a sick day, for example, only to have your next post detailing the shopping excursion or movie or concert you’re going to. You don’t know who everybody knows.

For all that, for all the cautionary notes I put on my own social media presence, I find I’m torn over the notion that we should be using social media the way other people think we should use it, whether they are employers, potential employers, friends, family, or a nebulous, undefined Other.

Take these What Not to Share points:

#16. Images and videos of your children.

#19. Don’t link personal sites to professional business sites like LinkedIn…don’t mix business with pleasure.

#21. Personal Information. (I’m not really sure what this covers.)

#29. What you had for breakfast.

Social media is many things. In a wholly general sense, it’s about sharing, it’s about conversations, it’s about expanding your resources. It’s about meeting, connecting, and yes, friending. Whether you use Facebook or not, chances are you’ve found some way of expressing yourself online, from a simple Plain Text email to a review on Amazon to your own blog.

Put it this way: Do you really want your personal Facebook page to be impersonal?

I hesitate to restrict some of this sharing on platforms that were built for that purpose. As a microcosm of “real life,” at some point, isn’t social media the way we make it?

Now, how to get your friends to stop posting mortifying pictures of you, that’s another story…