- Joe Wise
Are You a Contributor or a Wallflower in HOA Meetings?
Meetings are major part of life when you’re an HOA Board member. Although you may take care of association business via phone or email, that doesn’t always work for important issue discussions. Face-to-face meetings move association business forward. But, you can’t be a wallflower in these meetings. Every Board member has a responsibility to speak up and contribute important ideas. Here are some tips that can help you optimize your role in meetings.
Be Prepared. Most condo and HOA Boards provide an advance copy of the agenda along with supporting materials. Read the information before the meeting. Even if you are naturally quiet, this gives you time to think through the issues so that you are more comfortable speaking up at the meeting.
Take the community perspective. Board members must think about what’s good for the community as a whole —not themselves or friends. Remaining silent communicates approval. It’s up to you to speak for the community when you feel that a decision isn’t in the best interest of all the homeowners.
Disagree in a positive manner. Repeat what the person is saying to show that you are listening and understand. Ask questions to clarify intent, and then communicate your view. Pay attention to your tone and body language. Speak confidently in an open and non-threatening way.
Share your expertise. Your community and other Board members may rely on your expertise in specific areas, especially if you are the only one with experience in a field. Other Board members may question a potential decision, but they may be waiting to hear your opinion before sharing their thoughts. When you speak up and share your knowledge in meetings, others may model your behavior.
When all Board members work together for the greater good of the community, it shows. Meetings are more efficient and effective. Board members solicit opinions of others. The Board makes thoughtful decisions. It all starts with each member speaking up in meetings. Make it your goal to be a contributor—not a wallflower.
Wise Property Solutions is East Tennessee’s only Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC®). As the region’s leader in community association management, the firm is committed to the industry’s best practices and continuing professional development. Wise Property Solutions’ certified and highly trained property managers empower well-organized and efficient communities. The firm maintains offices in both Knoxville and the Tri-Cities.