Diversity can be a good thing when it comes to running an HOA because it keeps things fresh and introduces new ideas. But when board members clash, it can bring things to a screeching halt. It is important to remember that everyone is there for a common purpose and making compromises is part of being on a team. One person should not dominate the decision process and everyone should be able to have their opinions heard. Keep the following in mind for more peaceful and productive meetings and reducing conflict among HOA Board Members in your community association:
- Keep things professional. Cast aside any personal grudges you may be holding against another member. These issues are usually irrelevant and simply cause even more tension. Focus on the topics at hand and what the board needs to accomplish. If a particular subject seems to be the problem, consider shelving it until a later meeting when everyone has had a chance to think on things more.
- Know each member’s strengths. Let board members take the lead on issues where they excel. Whether it’s analyzing expenses, crafting the newsletter, or researching rules, when people feel comfortable and know they can be successful, it can increase productivity. Knowing that they are accountable for certain tasks can make them more willing to negotiate in other areas.
- Maintain an open mind. Go into each meeting willing to hear others out and look at issues from multiple perspectives. Just because you wouldn’t take the same approach doesn’t mean someone else’s idea is wrong. There is more than one way to achieve results. If you have questions, ask and give others a chance to explain their reasoning before you decide whether or not you agree.
- Set clear processes and procedures. When everyone knows what steps will be followed to approve changes to governing documents, decide upon a new vendor, establish the budget, or review a homeowner complaint, things tend to run more smoothly. Structure and organization are essential to planning and decision making. There is less room to argue when procedures are clearly explained and consistently followed.
- Keep the best interests of the HOA community in mind. Ultimately the decisions made by the board should benefit the community as a whole. When problems arise, step back and consider the bigger picture. It can be hard to turn down a proposal or enforce rules, but it is necessary to protect the integrity of the association. Put aside potential personal gains or losses because you are looking out for the best interest of the whole group, not just a few people.
Not everyone will always agree, but that is okay as long as you can come to a mutual decision. Hiring a property management company can support the board in running more effectively and tackling tough decisions and reducing conflict among HOA Board Members as well. It can take time for everyone to learn to work together as board positions change, but remember that you’re all there for a common purpose and goal: to better your community.
Contact Kuester Management to discover more tips on how to efficiently and effectively run your community association: