Part of the fun and reward of serving on the board of your homeowners association is getting the opportunity to listen to the many perspectives of other board members before reaching a decision that will best serve your community.
In order for your community association management board to function smoothly, it’s necessary to create and maintain an environment where each board member feels valued and respected. Though differences of opinion are bound to arise when groups of people are tasked with making a single decision, here’s how to help your HOA board become more harmonious and maintain a high standard of service to your community.
Make Sure Everyone Feels Heard
Boards comprised of members with various personality types create an environment for healthy debate and spirited discussions about issues facing the community. Remain open-minded to those with communication styles that differ from your own. Remember that each board member wants to do what’s best for the community. Give each individual ample time to articulate their point. Never dismiss any suggestion out of hand. Instead, ask for more details or information to help you gain a clearer understanding of how they have reached their conclusion.
Let Your Governing Documents Be Your Guide
Your community’s governing documents are an impartial resource designed to provide clarity and guidance when making decisions. By relying on your governing documents, you reduce some of the emotional charge that can accompany big decisions. Many board members–especially those who are new to the position–are enthusiastic about making immediate improvements. They simply do not realize that specific protocol established by the state and the community’s governing documents must be followed precisely. Your association’s legal counsel or property association management company can train board members as a whole or individually and answer questions to ensure that everyone understands the rules and legal requirements.
Practice Transparency & Respect at All Times
Community association management boards who demonstrate respect at all times function much more harmoniously than those who get sidetracked by personal differences. Minor confusion can unintentionally escalate into conflict when communication breaks down. Refrain from any side discussions about issues facing the board. Share your opinion in board meetings only and openly invite participation from other board members. Remember to keep the focus on the issue at hand. Professionalism among board members goes a long way toward creating a harmonious environment. Never allow your personal feelings about any board member or their opinion to influence your decision-making.
Ask Your Management Company for Advice
The professionals at your property association management company are skilled people managers. In providing guidance and support to homeowners and HOA boards, management companies have expertise balancing various personalities regarding issues large and small. Your property management company can help your HOA board mitigate problems or avoid them entirely by:
- Assigning a manager with the right attitude for the community
- Ensuring ongoing clear communication between all board members
- Mediating conflicts between individuals
- Finding ways to bridge personality divides in a professional and productive way
Serving on the board of your homeowners association brings both rewards and challenges. As you discover the unique assets each board member brings to the board, remember that all types have something to contribute to the benefit of the association. By learning to work cohesively together, you create harmony and build a community that sets the tone for the entire association.