Don’t get us wrong. We’re not taking any political positions. It’s just the reality of living in a multi residential community. We live with all sorts of people and among them are those who exhibit strong personality quirks like The Donald. It’s important for community managers and board members to be able to deal with it; Here are 3 useful tips to help you when the need arises.
Donald Trump’s tough and take-no-prisoners negotiation style is in many ways a hallmark of his success in both business and reality TV. Heck, it helped him win the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. However, it’s not something that most people can handle and if not dealt with properly in a condo or HOA community, it can cause unnecessary conflicts (i.e. lawsuits) and awkward situations for the manager, board member and residents.
Now imagine if Donald Trump is a resident living in your building or HOA. Not just a resident, but a board member. How would you handle someone like The Donald? What would your board accomplish if meetings were continually hijacked by “that” person with strong opinions, prone to emotional outbursts, and the inability to back down in an argument?
Here are three useful tips you can use to tame the beast!
1. “Flow with the wind, not against it.”
A Trump-like character is a “think out loud” and passionate person. They speak their mind without a filter and refuse to argue rationally at times — facts can sometimes mean less to them than their feelings about an issue. What can we say. People do tend to get out-of-control when they are passionate about an issue or topic. You have a better chance of successfully negotiating with them if you accept who they are rather than fighting against it.
Knowing their dominant, aggressive communication style, you can adapt your own negotiating style to complement and harmonize with theirs. This complementary approach was shown to have the best outcome in a recent study on conflict management from Harvard Law School. As a Zen master would say “Flow with the wind, not against it”.
2. Keep an open mind. Embrace change.
Whether you agree or disagree with them, a strong character will always rock the boat and challenge assumptions. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Trumps of the world are often “change agents” who want to disrupt the status quo. This can have a positive outcome in the long run and dealing with change gracefully makes you a better manager.
3. It’s all in your mindset.
Go into a discussion with the mindset that difficult people are there to help you improve your management skills. It’s an approach that will help you be unflappable in the face of their bullying or accusations because unfortunately, ignoring these people won’t make them go away. When you see them as “allies” helping you raise the bar on your interpersonal skill-level, it gives you a broader perspective towards life. (Bonus: if you can handle the most challenging person in your building, you can handle anyone!)
Do you have any other ideas or tips for handling the “resident Donald Trump” in a community? If so, share them in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!
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