Respect, Patience, Kindness
At first glance at the title, you may think this blog message is related to the current political climate. Although I am sure some of these thoughts and opinions are relevant to that, my focus today is on our communities and inter-personal relations with team members and clients.
Considering all of us are working in a new and unprecedented situation with the pandemic, community managers and board members are still all working towards making the community great but it has become evident to me that across the board, COVID fatigue has set in and has many of us are on edge and frankly, tired. I believe it is more important than ever to apply previous training and discussions on the values of Respect, Patience and Kindness to foster positive attitudes and experiences in our communities.
Respect. I have always been taught to respect the opinions of others. Just because a friend, neighbor or co-worker disagrees with an opinion doesn’t mean we are enemies. We should all embrace the concept that different points of view can help our communities and team develop and thrive. Sometimes there is not just one correct opinion. We should all show humility by accepting to “agree to disagree” on issues that affect our community. We are after all, all still neighbors, co-workers and team members hoping to live and work in a safe, happy and socially spirited community. Every day that I have had the pleasure of managing communities has been an opportunity to be exposed to new ideas, thought processes and amazing people. This is our strength as CAM’s and board members….. Our people who are diverse, open minded, opinionated and passionate for their beliefs. Let’s be respectful and embrace our differences and take a step back and look at other’s point of view and their feelings. We should all be respectful of the time volunteer administrators have devoted toward the success of the community and the hard working CAM’s who have preserved in 2020 without a guide map, specific training or special experience in these times.
Patience. In today’s high paced world of do, do, do, we seldom think of patience as an element needed for great teamwork or project management or community guidance. When something is taking longer than you feel it should or someone is not doing what you want them to do, stay calm and don’t get annoyed. Many of us can be impatient when we encounter what we believe to be incompetence. When we’re part of a community, it means we have a responsibility and accountability to our clients or neighbors, friends and staff. Situations can be annoying. Systems can be annoying. People can be annoying. But, if our goal is to grow our community, experience a pleasant and safe community and accomplish great things together then we must keep our annoyance in check when it comes to people. Everyone works in different ways which sometimes doesn’t align with our own work habits. It doesn’t make either way wrong – just different. We should be patient and let the person or team handling the project complete the work the way they work best. Let’s respect that their approach may be different. In the end, has the goal been achieved or was the project concluded successfully?
Kindness. Kindness requires that we sacrifice some of our own needs to provide what another person needs most at the moment. Kindness may require us to provide time to someone that we don’t seem to have at the moment. It may require us to have the courage to step in to a situation that would be much easier to avoid. Human kindness is inherent to our being and I believe by previous experience that our community residents, board members and staff are kind, for the most part and we may have lost our way just a little in the past 10 months. People may really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help anyway. Be kind. Let’s be more respectful of each other and in these uncertain times in our history, be respectful of our neighbors and their right to have a differing opinion.
Which leads my closing comment to board members – trust the professionals that are working hard to make your community a better association and a great place to live. Managers and company executives must remember that the board is also going through something unprecedented and they need our help. But also remain vigilant in verifying that the association is receiving the service, the value and the expected outcome from their service. I am not aware of any professional service provider that has a problem with oversight in a collaborative environment. We are all in this together. Let’s make it work for the enjoyment of all.