Homeowner Associations and Condo Associations are made up of a board whose job is to collaborate and navigate major and minor details of the community.
Boards are filled with people with different opinions, backgrounds, etc., so it’s only natural that they run into conflict. However, conflict can lead to the inability to accomplish tasks, make decisions, and support and grow your community.
When joining a community board or working within one, it’s important to focus on aligning your beliefs. An aligned HOA or Condo board can lead to a more efficient and effective team.
The Importance of Alignment in HOAs
HOA and Condominium boards advocate for the residents and the community’s well-being. However, sometimes the resident’s and the community’s well-being can conflict. Therefore, board members must think intuitively about how to move forward and compromise, so the resident and the community are happy.
So many things can lead to a successful board, but a board’s alignment is one of the most critical needs. While alignment is challenging, it’s necessary so that a board can make decisions in unison and promote positive change for their community.
When a board lacks alignment, it can negatively impact the community as a whole. Lack of alignment can lead to a disorganized board, a delay in decision-making, and distrust between the board and the community.
While it’s almost impossible for a group of people to collectively agree on everything all the time, there needs to be a common ground so that the board can make decisions, be productive, communicate, and solve future conflicts.
Find Alignment in Your HOA
So, how can a board find alignment? There are a few ways in which board members can work together to be a more aligned group- it all boils down to putting the well-being of your residents and community first. When there is inevitably a conflict, the board should always ask themselves, “what’s best for the community?”
Here are a few ways to work to find alignment within your board.
No More Ego
Before you can do anything for your community, you need to let go of your ego. You cannot have an effective HOA if you’re motivated by your personal agenda.
When you’re a part of an HOA board, your motivation should be your community and what’s best for the neighborhood you represent, not your personal opinions and preferences.
While it can be challenging listening to so many opinions and having your ego get in the way – we encourage you to always bring your focus back to your why and your HOAs mission statement (don’t worry, we’ll get into those next!)
Next, you want to know your “Why.”
- Why are you doing this?
- Why are you volunteering your time to be on a board?
- What do you hope to see for your community?
While not everyone comes onto an HOA board with the right intentions or motivations- you need to take this time to focus on your personal motivations. When you know your “why,” you can be a more effective partner/board representative.
The right motivation can go a long way in aligning with your fellow board members and creating positive changes within your community.
Practice Your Listening Skills
It’s time to practice your listening skills. Your board is filled with different personalities, backgrounds, and opinions. Of course, disagreements will happen, so when they do, take the time to listen and understand one another.
The most important thing you can do is respect those around you, including listening to their ideas and opinions without judgment (and without your ego getting in the way).
While it’s not always easy, it will help with your board’s success in the long run.
An aligned board will not always agree, but it will be successful when everyone can comfortably share their differing opinions, have a thoughtful dialogue, and always have the community’s best interest at heart.
Working in a successful HOA and Condo board starts with always making decisions with your community’s best interest at heart. Therefore, knowing your why and your mission statement is incredibly beneficial.
Your mission statement is key to your board’s overall alignment. It’s the fully agreed-upon goal that your HOA or Condo association has. It helps board members make better decisions because you can always reference your mission.
Remember your association’s mission statement so that when you make any decisions, you can ask yourself, “does this align with our mission state?” and confidently answer, “yes.”
Technical Tools in Your Toolbox
In addition to:
- Abandoning your ego
- Knowing your “why.”
- Listening to one another
- Staying on track with your mission statement
Boards can also stay aligned by investing in up-to-date software systems.
When communities fail to evolve and adapt to better technology, you’ll see issues like miscommunication or an inability to serve their community. On the other hand, when you have a modern technical system in place, you can communicate and keep track of everyday tasks more efficiently.
When there is an ease of communication, the community is more likely to be aligned in any changes and thrive in their success.
Having new up-to-date software can help an association’s ability to be aligned and set them up for long-term success. In addition, adopting new software equips homeowners associations with the tools they need to create and build a better community.
Like anyone, board members need the right tools and resources to provide success for their communities. Technical tools improve efficiency so your board can spend less time on busy work and paper-based processes and spend more time solving problems, working together, and then spending time growing the community.
There are many ways to have an aligned HOA or Condo board. First, an association needs the proper tools to serve its community to the best of its abilities.
Whether it’s social tools like listening and leaving your ego at the door, group tools like having a shared mission statement, or technical tools like adopting the proper software, it all boils down to keeping the community at the heart of every decision.
An HOA and Condo board should have the right tools to make decisions, share information, and collaborate to build a better community for the future.
Right now, creating alignment in your HOA or Condo board should be a priority. Once you have alignment, your community can thrive. A thriving community leads to a happier and more prosperous society.
If you want to create a more aligned HOA, but don’t know where to start, consider working with a professional HOA management company like AMC Inc. (Association Management Concepts). We’ll provide full-service board training and a complete guide to creating alignment for a thriving community. Contact us at 916-565-8080, ext. 321.