I actually first reached out over email and introduced myself, and then asked if they’d be willing to set up a call. Things were especially tricky because not only did I not have the professional background, I was helping to merge their current online community with an entirely separate one. So, some were definitely NOT impressed with me and only wanted to complain. But one thing I insisted on reminding our team was that even though some of the most active, important members were unhappy about the change, and many threatened (and some ultimately did) to leave, we needed to keep in mind that it wasn’t necessarily a loss - yes, I didn’t have these original active members, but it opened up space for NEW members who WERE on board with the change. It created opportunity for NEW active users to come forward and shine. The ones who were disgruntled and truly believed in the community eventually came around, it just took a long time. So, giving them the opportunity to vent one last time to me, say their opinion (because I was new and things were changing), and then it was either get on board or move on, because we weren’t going to tolerate any negativity or poor behavior towards anyone.