Disagreements among homeowners and fellow board members are bound to happen. However, that’s not always a bad thing. When they’re handled properly, disagreements can lead to unexpected solutions and common ground. Below are five tips to help you keep disagreements in check and voice your concerns so you get results.
Time Your Concerns Appropriately
It’s important to bring up your concerns at an appropriate time and place. No one likes to be blindsided. Rather than going behind someone’s back to complain, go directly to the person you have issues with to ask for some time to meet privately. It’s also helpful to give the person an idea what you’d like to discuss beforehand. This will allow them to get their own thoughts together and help set the tone for a more productive, two-way conversation.
Be Specific and Be Objective
When you have concerns about something, be specific about it, and the more specific you can be the better (including dates, times, etc.). Also, be objective about your concerns, by losing your emotional attachments to them. Take frustration out of the equation by focusing on the facts. One effective strategy is to express your concerns using a question rather than a statement. For example, “Is there any reason why …?”, is a good way to begin.
Lower Your Voice
If you lower your voice when speaking, you accomplish three things. First, you reduce any tension that might exist. Second, you force the other person to listen to you. Third, because of its unexpected nature, lowering your voice can gain you a psychological advantage in the discussion.
Stay Calm and Suggest Solutions
Sharing your point of view honestly, calmly, and giving respect — even those you disagree with — can earn you respect in return and give your position more credibility. Rather than simply complaining and harping on the problem, it’s important to focus on possible solutions. Suggesting solutions will also increase the likelihood that the other person will take your concerns seriously and take action.
Listen and Try to See the Other Person’s Point of View
Listen to people completely to ensure you understand their concerns. The more you understand someone’s point of view, the more likely you can resolve the disagreement. Before responding with your own position, consider paraphrasing the other person’s position and concerns first, while emphasizing the points you both agree upon.
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Remember, Spectrum Association Management is here to help with any challenging situations you may have involving your association. Don’t hesitate to contact us for professional guidance. We’re happy to help!