It is generally safe to say differences of opinion or conflicts are a normal part of being on a board of directors and all homeowner associations. It is unrealistic to expect board members to be in agreement on all matters that confront a board, or that the membership would agree with every board action taken. Learning how to effetely deal with conflict is vital to serving on a board of directors. When conflict is mismanaged it can cause problems that could have been avoided with a little forethought.
The foundation of dealing with all differences of opinion or conflicts is being respectful of the other person’s opposing point of view. With this basis of respect on your part you must require the other party to be respectful of your point of view as well. This is key to moving forward with discussion. If mutual respect is not obtained, it generally will not be constructive to positively moving the issue forward. Hopefully this foundation of respect leads to the feeling by both parties that the process is non personal and more like a business like course of action.
A major point to consider is that the goal is to move the issue forward in a positive way and not necessarily resolve the issue. Resolution maybe an unrealistic objective on certain issues. The goal of conflict resolution is for both sides to understand where the other point of view is coming from, and that there was a clear and open discussion of each person’s point of view. Attempting to understand the other person’s point of view goes along with showing respect.
Avoidance is the most common pitfall of conflict resolution. Avoiding certain conflicts can make matters far worse. First, if a differing point of view is not addressed or challenged early on, the other person may feel that everyone is in agreement with their position. The longer this person feels their point of view is the only view, the more difficult it may be for them to see other sides of the issue. The second pitfall of avoidance is that the other party may feel they are being ignored and this can be the most damaging. When people feel their views are being ignored conflicts can become personal in nature and, as a result, much more difficult to deal with and come to any type of successful resolution.
In Short The 5 Points of Conflict Resolution
- Try to understand what is really behind the person’s differing point of view
- Know thyself and determine what is really troubling you about the matter
- Do not avoid the issue and work towards resolving or compromising
- Communicate clearly and effectively, get your point across
- Show respect and require respect of the other party
At the end of the day certain conflicts may not be resolvable, but still we return to the foundation of respecting the other party’s point of view. You agree to disagree. WDPM
Copyright – William Douglas Management, Inc. 2016