There were over 30 attendees at the Thursday, September 13, 2018 Deerfield Library Seminar, "How to Deal with Difficult People".
Presenting the topic, “How to Deal With Difficult People” was Jim Stoller, President of the Building Group, Jim presented strategies on how to manage conflict between the Board members and the unit owners. He presented a packet of resource materials that provided “take home strategies” that will be useful long after this seminar ended.
Some techniques to encourage a positive and productive environment included: 1) Having specific goals timetables and priorities 2) Preventing discussions from becoming personal; 3) Distributing accurate information to all board members and unit owners, 4) Setting up fact finding committees to obtain information 5) Using independent experts to provide technical information.
He gave tips on how to reduce conflict at the Board Meetings with communication with unit owners being the key component. If Boards create and consistently enforce rules and regulations, a board meeting atmosphere of fairness and predictability occurs. If Boards respect their managers, the unit owners see a team effort at Board meetings and harmony at the meetings exist. Involving the unit owners and providing an inviting atmosphere, the unit owners are prone to attend where they feel welcome. A win win situation is inevitable.
When conflict does arise, Jim Stoller provided ways to approach a conflict situation. He stated that knowing the ways people approach a disagreement will assist you to choose the best tactics for resolving conflict. These ways were: 1) Direct aggression 2) Collaborative 3) Compromising 4) Accommodating 5) Avoiding .
The tips that he stated for resolving the Conflict and Handling Difficult People were:
- Be Proactive
- Listen and Stay Calm
- Encourage the people involved to share their perspective
- Discuss possible solutions
- Be empathetic
The attendees had a chance to share their Board experiences and get tailor made answers to their questions. Boards and unit owners have to take an objective look at all parties’ behavior and seek common ground for a harmonious outcome which will be beneficial for all parties involved.
This task involves time and effort to analyze, diffuse heated discussions, using techniques as Jim Stoller advocated.
The ACHA Board of Directors are grateful for the expertise in the subject matter Jim Stoller provided.