When to speak and when to listen is a challenge we all face. In daily conversations, the greater gift is the ability to listen.
Homeowner associations provide a target rich environment for communications. Board members and property managers deal with irate homeowners that make blood boil. The urge to strike back is natural. The person yelling at you is not only a shareholder in the HOA you serve, but also believes passionately in what has caused their anger. That person is owed a full and fair hearing. Your role in any exchange is to remain calm, listen attentively and discover the key to the conflict before you commit to any action.
Effective listening is the key to dealing with different personality types. Listening without jumping to conclusions can be mastered by even a type-A personality eager to cut to the bottom line. Listening means really concentrating on what another person is saying and not just waiting for your turn to speak. Listen with both your eyes and ears. Let your body language show that the person speaking has your full and undivided attention. Show that you care about their problem.