This is an important lesson for community manager’s to remember. You will occasionally be on the receiving end of a homeowner, guest or vendor’s anger. There will times when you will serve as the proverbial punching bag for their disappointment, failure, frustration or misunderstanding. They may hold you responsible for something they perceive as your fault. You will become the object of their discontent (you may be a proxy for the real person, or thing that is actual problem).
In these instances, stay frosty. Keep your cool! Let them vent (momentarily) and try to get to the root of the problem. Tell them that you hear them, and repeat what they have said to you so they hear their words parroted back to them. Lower your voice, tone, pace, and volume to reduce the “heat” in the conversation.
This method works well most of the time. Generally people just want to be heard and validated. Do your best to stay neutral and let it roll off like “water off a duck’s back”.
Don’t take it personally. Stay neutral. Do your job and keep it moving.
Tanoa Lynne Poirier is the Managing Principal at Poirier Enterprises Inc., specializing in the management of community associations, commercial and investment properties, and individual residences in South Florida.
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