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The success of a condominium corporation’s board of directors depends mostly on its ability to employ great communication skills. Simply put, the board should adhere to common sense communication governance principles at all times, whether the setting is an official board meeting, an online comment thread or an informal conversation between neighbours.

It’s a good thing when directors have ideas and want to provide meaningful input in an effort to improve their condominium community as a whole—it’s often a key factor that induces people to want to serve on the board in the first place. However, structuring and organizing those thoughts and insights into tangible action items requires understanding and being able to use some basic best communication practices.

By keeping the following best practices in mind and encouraging their use in interactions among the board members, between the board and the community and between the board and the property management company, you’ll have a more successful time ensuring positive outcomes for all parties involved.

Here’s a closer look at some common circumstances that will benefit from the excellent communication skills of your condominium corporation’s board of directors:

  • If an issue requires action, it should be submitted as a formal request via the resident portal so its status can be tracked and reported on. It’s important to encourage board members and residents alike through as-needed reminders to report issues through the proper channels.       
  • If there is information that is to become part of the condominium records, it should be submitted to the property manager by email. All board members should be copied. The property manager will keep electronic records of matters related to the condo community, enabling them to be easily accessed as needed at a later date.       
  • If there is information or a document that requires review and/or discussion, it should be included as an addendum or attachment to a board meeting agenda item. Such items would be submitted to the board secretary and then included with the meeting agenda’s corresponding attachments. This will ensure everyone who refers to the agenda prior to the meeting is able to access and view the materials.       
  • If an issue requires discussion, it should be added to a board meeting agenda. On some occasions, if lengthy discussion is required, it may warrant a separate in-camera meeting prior to the official board meeting. This allows the official meeting to proceed in a more focused manner and achieve an official resolution. A director dispute is a good example of when separate meetings might be warranted.

Modelling the principles of effective communication is an ongoing task for condo board members, but thankfully, given the nature of their roles, these are skills that can be employed on a regular basis and through a variety of avenues. From communicating through a resident portal, to publishing a regular community newsletter, to interacting with residents outside board meetings, there are numerous opportunities for board members to demonstrate best practices related to communication.