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Board Member Skills: How To Be A Better Listener

In a condominium corporation, communication skills are key to success. For a board of directors, communication efforts help shape the community and foster collaboration and transparency. One of the most essential skills needed to strengthen communication is good listening. Good listening allows the board to have a better perspective on the business of the corporation and to stay in touch with needs. By mastering this skill, board members are equipped to make informed decisions and fulfill their fiduciary duties. Follow these guidelines to become a better listener and, through that, a better community leader.

Why Listening is Important in Condominium Corporations

Effective communication has the power to drive the future of a community. Facilitating a positive and cooperative spirit, communication can create a pathway to improved partnerships, successful negotiations, and constructive decision-making. Part of being a good communicator includes being an active listener—someone who hears, understands, and acts on the wants and needs of the community they serve. When a board of directors is actively listening:

  • Homeowners feel heard
  • You promote transparency
  • Teamwork improves
  • Homeowners see the board cares

How to Become an Active Listener

In a condominium corporation, quality communication can bring speedy solutions, minimize confusion, prevent gossip, and build trust. As a board member, when you don’t just hear the words spoken, but take the extra step to understand them, you can craft messages, notices, and information that resonate with the community. And connecting with community members makes it easier to shape and improve the corporation. When thinking about how to actively listen, look at the concept through these three categories:

Cognitive: Active listeners pay attention and take the time to comprehend messages. Conversations aren’t just in one ear and out the other. Take notes during conversations, and always think of how you can directly respond to what someone is saying.

Emotional: Active listeners understand emotions and react with appropriate emotions. This could mean showing concern for a resident’s maintenance issues or excitement when meeting a new neighbour.

Behavioral: Active listeners express themselves with eye contact and verbal and nonverbal comprehension. Stay focused on the person speaking with eye contact and avoid distractions.