Poor communication can make the job of an HOA board member pretty rough sometimes. If you have an abrasive homeowner who is yelling and demanding without being reasonable, it can be hard to keep your cool and know the best approach.
That’s all the more reason to make sure your board members have good communication—both with homeowners and with amongst themselves. This makes it easier to deal with things when a homeowner is disregarding HOA rules and regulations and thinks they can do whatever they want with their home.
It can be tempting to respond with defensiveness and apathy, but communication is art that every HOA board should become savvy in. That means learning to negotiate, soothe, work together, and promote compliance through proper measures.
Here are some ways your HOA can work to improve their communication skills and in turn, your relationship with homeowners:
#1 Learn to Be an Active Listener
An active listener is someone who really pays attention to what the other person is saying and actually listens to what they say. You’re not agreeing or disagreeing with their point of view, but you’re letting them know they are heard.
#2 Remain Professional
It’s easy to quickly respond with anger when you’re dealing with someone who is being unreasonable and possibly even yelling, but the best approach is to remain businesslike no matter what. Don’t get defensive, or worse, ignore the owner—this will only lead to more passionate and angry demands.
#3 Take a Breather
If a board member is feeling completely overwhelmed, encourage them to take a walk or breather. Pause and reflect before immediately responding with something you might regret.
#4 Take a Class
There are several places, such as in community colleges or through your HOA management company, where you can learn about the best methods for dealing with difficult people. Perhaps encourage your board members to use this as an ongoing education opportunity so everyone knows the proper mediation skills in these situations.
When you learn how to deal with more difficult people, it benefits your HOA as a whole and gives you the tools to handle all types of personalities no matter what you’re doing. This can strengthen the relationships in your community and help everyone live more harmoniously over the long-term.
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