Regardless of how well a community association is managed, there is bound to be the occasional conflict. Community association managers have to make decisions with the well-being of the entire community in mind, and unfortunately that sometimes leaves some members feeling upset. Both residents and board members can let their tempers flare when discussing their viewpoints, but conflict doesn’t always have to be negative. When handled correctly, conflict can actually be a healthy aspect of community management, and can help board members and community members make better decisions for the community. Here are a few tips for effective community association conflict resolution:
1. It’s not personal.
More often than not, the conflict is the result of differing opinions, and not because of a personal grudge. Board members should keep an open mind when listening to dissent from community members, and take all points into consideration. Rather than seeing an upset residents as their adversaries, community managers should view them as a part of their team. Different points of view can even be helpful in coming to a more widely accepted resolution.
2. Always communicate.
Many conflicts are simply the result of miscommunication. Board members can help avoid unnecessary pushback by using as many resources as possible to communicate with community members. When board members reach out to residents through all possible avenues, it gives the residents more opportunity to stay informed and, if needed, contact the board members with questions or concerns before the next community meeting.
3. Be transparent.
Just as board members are expected to remain transparent with their financial decisions, it’s important to be transparent with any decisions that impact the community. In addition to open communication of ideas, board members should also make sure to follow through and answer any questions in a timely manner. When residents feel like they are involved in the decision-making process, they are less likely to be resistant.
4. Consider a mediator.
Unfortunately not all conflict can be avoided or easily resolved. In some extreme cases it may be necessary to bring in a third-party mediator to help settle a difficult dispute. Some states require mediation as a final option before escalating to litigation.
When it comes down to it, board members, community managers and resident all share a similar goal: they want to have a safe and successful community. While opinions may sometimes differ, these tips can help all parties reach an agreement quickly and painlessly, so that everyone can get back to enjoying the community that they are so passionate about.
About Kevin Davis Insurance Services
For over 35 years, Kevin Davis Insurance Services has built an impressive reputation as a strong wholesale broker offering insurance products for the community association industry. Our President Kevin Davis and his team take pride in offering committed services to the community association market and providing them with unparalleled access to high-quality coverage, competitive premiums, superior markets, and detailed customer service. To learn more about the coverage we offer, contact us toll-free at (877) 807-8708 to speak with one of our representatives.