It’s all in the approach…
Published October 16, 2019
The challenges of being in the minority of a Board of
Directors can be challenging and frustrating at times. You spent all
this energy in getting elected, and now you feel you have no voice.
As Eric mentioned this week, it’s a tough place to be in; however,
I’m going to provide some tips on how you can try and win over that
one person or the rest of the board to hear you out. Do keep in mind
that this approach works for ideas that benefit the association as a
whole and not one individual.
The first step in any negotiations is knowing what you
are up against. Before presenting any information, you want to
understand what the position of each board member is and why. This
can be done by inviting your fellow board members for a coffee or
lunch. In doing so, you can get a strong understanding of their
position and why they are taking that particular approach. Further,
you will start to understand what makes them tick and why, in turn,
they can hear some of your ideas.
Second, take the time to prepare the reason you what
something changed and the facts behind it. With Google and a strong
management company, it shouldn’t be that difficult. As an example,
if you are looking to add a playground to the community, ask for the
financials, find out how many kids live in the community, ask a
couple of residents if they believe they would like to have that
amenity, and provide some pictures of communities that have them.
Once you’ve compiled this information, sit down with one of your
Board members, and provide them with the facts and how you’d like to
discuss this at a board meeting. As the great Benjamin Franklin once
said: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to
By taking an approach that is anchored in research,
facts, and positivity, your chances of getting what you believe is
right for the community will be higher. As I advise my managers and
boards, if you believe in something you shouldn’t quit, you need to
adjust your approach but always taking the higher road. Too many
times, I see board members let their egos get in the way, and
because of it, real change doesn’t occur, and all you witness is
in-fighting between board members. Remember, these board members are
your neighbors, and you have to see them every day.