Problem Solving

Whether you are an owner, a board member, or a manager, here are some thoughts and philosophy about problem solving:

  • Do not put the blinders on and ignore the good traits or decision-making capabilities or ideas of fellow board members, even if you do not like them personally. View things objectively, as if you were on the outside looking in.
  • Don't muddle around in the eddy (fast churning water moving in a circular motion and creating great danger of drowning). Get outside of the situation to clear your lungs so you can breathe.
  • Learn some people skills (especially active listening) so that you really "hear" the problem. You cannot listen while you are talking - or arguing.
  • You may have to be the one that thinks outside the box, gets creative, or breaks the log jam of immature or irrational thinking by offering up some practical solutions or compromises.
  • Don't let it get to the point that the board is paralyzed. And if that happens, imagine what it would be like to find a cure!
  • Don't be part of the problem - be part of the solution.

Complete paralysis of a board or worse, like when the infighting escalates to derisive political factions or litigation leads to extraordinary legal costs, is unfair to all owners.

Every time a board or Association must call upon a lawyer to help resolve a dispute, there are costs involved (and usually 2 attorneys doubling the costs!).

Don't miss the chance to be the change that you want to see. Don't miss the opportunity when it presents itself to act in a manner that will bring some relief to a pressure-cooker situation. When you can contribute to the solution, instead of throwing your hands up at the problem, you can pat yourself on the back and feel really good about your day.

When you get a special opportunity, be decent and civic minded, solution-oriented, and don't pass it up later thinking the opportunity will come again. Speak a word of kindness, even when it is difficult because of the way another person is acting. I guarantee you the potential to feel better for it, even if "they" don't. It takes two sides to ramp up the combat. And combatants often end up in court facing potentially huge attorneys' fees and costs and blame everything and everybody around them and never take responsibility for their actions. Don't be that person. Don't put on the blinders and miss what is going on before your eyes. Don't pass up the opportunity to do something great, even if it seems small. Someone has to make the world a better place.

Article adapted from “Problem Solving” by Beth A. Grimm, Esq.