29 Sep 2011

Solving Conflict, Technique #1

Posted by Orlando HOA Services

I have a confession to make. Way back in my college days, I worked as a recreation director for a mental hospital.

There I learned the basic behavior techniques to avoid inflaming potentially dangerous situations, calm all parties involved, and help them come to a mutual understanding. It also works with kids, clients, and neighbors.

So here comes technique #1: Eject all emotional baggage. At my complex, we have owners who habitually engage in annoying and dangerous violations. The previous Board brought all their anger with these people into all of their dealings with them. Guess what happened? The situation just got worse.

When I became Board President, the first Board meeting I chaired started to go into a shouting match. I just stood up and calmly said, if this meeting can’t be held in a civilized manner, it’s over. And I stuck to my guns. Everyone was polite, and everyone got to have their say. The problem owners are still a problem. However, now we can work with them and get them to alter their behavior when it gets too bad. And every time we have to bring them into a Board meeting, they are treated with the utmost courtesy. Why? Because it works. However you feel about anyone in a Board meeting, leave it at the door. If it’s someone you like, you still have to make sure they’re cleaning up after their dog. If it’s someone you don’t like, you still have to deal with them, so you might as well make it as pleasant as possible.

When business is conducted in a calm and logical manner, things get done.  And that’s your job.  Once you’ve tried it, you’ll wonder why you did it any other way.

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