Anatomy Of A Community

Ever wonder what the different roles within a community are? This post identifies five roles that can be found in all communities

What is a Community

A simple question, so why are there multiple definitions?

Type in 'community definition' into Google and you get the following definitions:

‘a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common’

‘the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.’

In both these definitions, the words that can be found in both is ‘... in common’

We feel we are a part of a community when we have something in common with others.

Thanks to how easy it is to be instantaneously in contact with each other no matter where we are in the world, being part of a community no longer requires us to be in physical contact with each other.

Roles within a Community

With all the advances made with technology, one thing that hasn’t changed is how communities work.

Essentially, it is a place where like minded people congregate to share ideas, thoughts, things and to belong. Just like life, we all have roles to play within a community.

Here are the five roles each community has:

1. Leaders

These are the people who are the face of the group. They speak on behalf of the community, make decisions for the community and resolve issues the community may be having.

There are two types of community leaders.

Self Appointed Leader - They are usually the ones who started the group. These are common in communities like those found on Facebook.

Appointed Leader - These people became leaders via a consensus from the community. Think about town mayors, politicians, board members, school boards etc.

2. Influencers

All groups have influencers. They are the ones who are able to get us to do things or even change our minds about things.

3. Facilitators

They keep things moving along.

When the group gets stuck, they are the ones to get things moving. This can be done by asking a question if there is silence or changing topics if a conversation has gone off topic.

There are influencers who are able to sway people's opinions , helpers who do what they have been asked to do for the good of the community and then there are members.

4. Conversation Starter

Unlike the influencer who is able to sway people's opinions, conversation starters get people thinking. They ask questions, share thoughts and opinions in the community. They have the ability to do this in a way that compels people to respond.

5. Members

Then there are those within the group that are not leaders, influencers, facilitators or conversation starters. Their role in the group is to show up and participate. They are the lifeblood of any community as without them, communities would not exist.


With the five roles identified within a community, a community would not and can not exist without members. That is because it is the members that help give communities its voice, which is then shared with others.

Four of the roles outlined within a community can be performed by a single person, which is quite common particularly in small communities. Meaning, one person can be the community leader, facilitator, influencer and conversation starter.

Are there any other group members I missed? Let me know in the comments below.

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