You’ve done it. Several years – maybe even multiple terms – as a Condo Association Board member and you’re suddenly an accomplished veteran. You have multiple major projects under your belt, and you’ve improved your community – maybe by starting a committee. Now that you’re a veteran, it is time for you to pass that information on to the new blood and become a Condo Association Board mentor.
First and foremost, be friendly with your new Board members. Remember – a smart new Board member is going to be in watch-and-listen mode. Focus on being friendly and pleasant rather than lecturing them.
Be Welcoming, Not Overbearing
A Condo Association Board mentor is someone whose services are voluntarily requested. They do not force themselves upon people. Don’t be overbearing with your new Condo Board members. Politely offer help and lead by example, and ultimately let the new Condo Board member come to you.
Provide Editorial-Free Context to Situations
When you’re facing a situation that is new to your new Board member, make sure to provide a refresher on the facts. Don’t single out the new Board member – instead, address the group. Do not provide color commentary, but rather a historical primer on what has happened and what the key decision points are.
Position for Teachable Moments
Every Board member has their “oh my god” moment. It might be when an Owner emails alleging gross misconduct, or when something breaks and causes damage to an Owner’s unit, or some other minor crisis. A veteran knows that these issues are part and parcel of being on a Board. The Board’s job is to professionally follow up and enable Management to resolve issues.
Do not counsel the new Board member that the issues “aren’t a big deal” or similar. Instead, ensure that the Association is taking the correct action and focus on demonstrating the correct way to handle such issues. Allow the situation to play out and the new Board member to learn for themselves what the resolution will be.
Everyone was New Once
No matter what the situation, everyone was a rookie once. What helps rookies learn and grow is to be able to follow positive role models and learn from good mentors. Don’t be overbearing, but instead demonstrate leadership with the myriad of situations a Board member faces. Smart new Board members will learn either passively or directly from your experience, and go on to effectively serve the Association.