Disagreements can happen in any setting, but an HOA Board meeting is prime real estate for differing opinions. That’s the value of having a Board of Directors—you have different experiences and opinions brought to life so you can evaluate what is best for your community. Healthy disagreement is one of the hallmarks of a successful HOA Board as opposed to apathy that identifies a dysfunctional or non-engaged team. Setting guidelines for conflict and knowing how to move on after a disagreement is an important part of team leadership.
The best way to heal war wounds is “business as usual”. According to Worthington Flowers it’s important that your Board members be able to disagree and then get back to back to business. Here are some guiding principles to review with your Board members to help them disagree without burning bridges.
Choose conflicts wisely. You need to avoid the reputation of disagreeing on everything, so choose something that is meaningful to voice disagreement.
Avoid personal confrontations. Stick to the facts when you disagree with other Board members. Identify areas where you agree, and then share facts or experiences that validate your reason(s) for the areas in which you don’t agree.
Respect other HOA Board members. Take time to listen and put what another Board member is saying into perspective. Then, share your perspective as you focus on what is good for the community as a whole.
Focus on making a good decision. If you look at a debate as winning or losing, then you’re the loser regardless of the outcome… because it can have a major impact on your relationship with other Board members. The goal of a discussion is to reach the best outcome for the community—not winning the debate.
Be willing to compromise. While you may not agree with other Board members on everything, look for mutually agreeable points. Search for a solution that everyone can buy into that addresses the problem.
Return to business as usual. Don’t let conflicts fester. Address the differing opinions and conflict in your Board meeting. Remind the members that their shared purpose is to make your community a better place to live. Then, get back to business by tackling an easy task to rebuild their confidence in each other and in the team. Taking a few minutes to put everything in perspective goes a long way in setting the stage for future discussions.
Wise Property Solutions is a property management company serving East Tennessee with offices in Knoxville, TN and the Tri-Cities, TN-VA. Specializing in Condominium Association Management, Home Owners Association Management, HOA Management and Gated Community Association Management.