Condominium associations, homeowners association (HOA), and co-op boards generally hold regular board meetings to get input from residents, resolve problems within the community, develop budgets for the upcoming year and handle any issues that homeowners need to talk about.
Since most HOA boards are comprised of volunteers who may or may not be well-versed in group dynamics and effective communication methods in a group setting, sometimes board meetings can wander off course, resulting in a lot of wasted time and not much done. In order for a co-op or condo board to run smooth, productive meetings, it is important that both board members and residents hone their communication skills, show each other due respect, and not allow personal feelings to get in the way of doing what's best for their community.
I Want it My Way
"The most common meeting-related problem I have seen," says Nancy Hastings, CMCA/AMS, of MAMCO Property Management in Mt. Laurel, "is people coming to a particular board meeting with the sole intent of just getting something off their chest or righting something that they feel is wrong."
Not that there's anything wrong with that, Hastings continues, but problems can arise when those people—either board members or non-board members—over-focus and make the entire meeting about their problem. "Sometimes they don't read the materials that have been provided for them in advance," says Hastings. "All they are focusing on is that particular issue, and that can be very disruptive."
It's only natural for most people to care about their issues first, says Diane Dangler, CMCA of DHD Management in Oceanport, but it's important that they go into the meeting prepared to give equal attention to all the issues facing the board that day.