How to Have More Productive Council Meetings: Getting Your Strata Council Members to Work Together

The priority of a council meeting is to leave feeling productive and like a fully-functioning team. When hiring a professional strata management company, you often have an advantage because you have extra help to improve the flow and productivity of council meetings. Have you partnered with a strata management company but still leave your council meetings unenthused or even frustrated? 
 
Continue reading to find common problems within council meetings and what your residential strata management company can do to help. 
 

The division between Council Members

A common problem between council members is being divided on a particular issue, to the point where it seems impossible to reconcile them. When these types of disputes occur (and they will), it is best to offer a neutral position instead of taking sides. This provides the opportunity to control the atmosphere in the room and get everyone back on the same page. 
 
Suppose you have a professional strata management company (such as FirstService Residential) working with you. In this case, your strata manager will be able to act as a third party and help bring some agreement between disputing parties. You will be in good hands with experienced professionals who can make proper recommendations and offer their ideas without taking sides. 
 

The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Oil

It may be challenging to know when an issue is legitimate or if someone is complaining for the sake of complaining. If you notice that a single person is taking control of the discussion, we suggest bringing in a mediator or your strata manager to take the reigns. The unbiased nature of this third party should note that the Member's comments have been recorded and encourage them to move on to the next item on the list. There should also be time allocated where everyone can discuss actual issues with the board, and not just one person. 
 

Getting Down to Business

 "Was there even anything accomplished?" is not something you want someone or even yourself saying. It can be a deeply concerning issue if your Council Members cannot stay on topic during every meeting. This is often the case if many of them know each other socially and treat meetings as a social hour instead of a serious meeting. While being courteous and communicative with each other, translate that energy into discussing the essential topics and keeping the group on task. 
 
Some suggestions are to set a clear agenda and stick to it. Having these clear objectives on paper makes a world of difference when preparing in advance, and allows everyone to know which topics need to be addressed, and which do not. 
 

Getting Everyone to Work Together

To get the most out of a Council Meeting, everyone needs to be on the same page and have aligned goals. Disagreements will occur, and it is a healthy way of seeing different viewpoints and perspectives. It may even enhance the quality of the meeting because it creates mutual respect for everyone's input. Sessions should also look at both the short-term and long-term strategy, important projects and policies and the more challenging decisions, which often require more time and energy. 
 
After reading this article, you should know it is crucial to get the most out of your Council meetings, and the right strata management company on your side. The company will actively collaborate with you, help meetings stay on track, guide you in making the right decisions about property improvements, and then responsibly implement the decisions once they have made. 
 
If you are self-managing and want an extra hand, contact FirstService Residential today. 


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