Resilient Communities Rise Above the Rest
Resiliency is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. The ability to bounce back in fast recovery mode does not happen of its own accord. For communities, it takes time, planning and strategizing.
Demographics play a role in determining what the community requires in times of need. Communication is at the very core of a game plan to overcome differences, draw from shared ideals and joint values. At a moment’s notice the seascape of a community may change with one small dispute that can escalate rapidly without a resiliency recovery plan. Waiting for the dispute to arise to then create such a plan is backward in approach. Planning is key.
People feel strongly about their homes, loved ones, pets and their personal values. Add in the requirement to use shared living spaces in an equitable and structured environment and it’s a recipe for some tense scenarios every so often. A new resident can tip the scales just as the departure of a much beloved long term Board President who was viewed as a fair and reasonable leader. A dog is just a tad too large but only visiting. A resident driver is intent on just borrowing visitor parking space as one is empty. A heavy season and spice enthusiast down the hall who feels that door propping makes sense and is a right. A new to multi-level living music lover with a music lover style stereo and no headphones. It takes a matter of hours for a situation to evolve, brew, bubble and boil over. Expectations versus reality. Needs versus wants. Neighbour versus, unfortunately, neighbour and/or Board/Manager.
A few ideas follow in no order that may be of use in your first steps along the way to prepare:
1- Identify how your community best communicates.
2- Honour rights to privacy.
3- Work to understand all sides and viewpoints.
4- Separate the issue from the person.
5- Develop a step by step gameplan for handling discontent within the community.
6- Consider a mediator rather than a lawyer.
7- Choose words carefully in written communication and beware toneless email.
8- Try to meet in person where possible and offer a comfortable yet professional in nature meeting environment.
9- Open minds with empathy first as you do not need to agree to show empath for the view of another.
11- Beware ego and power struggles.
12- Consider external factors (personal crises, recent family changes, declining health, new cause fighters and more).
Plan for the trouble spots in advance. If you never need your rainy day community specific Resiliency Plan, you will still benefit from the deliberation required to create one and tuck it away in preparation.
Debbie Dale, MCRS Property Management