The Key to Ending Community Conflict is in the Approach

Got Condo Conflict? Got HOA Headaches? No cooperation in your Co-Op? Here are 5 Tips & Techniques for Community Dispute Resolution!

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Condo conflict driving you mad? HOA headaches wearing you down? No cooperation in your Co-op?  How do you fix it? Conflict resolution is the solution!  With the right training, education, and resources, Associations can reduce the high cost of conflict by changing the way they manage it. Conflict prevention, management, and resolution education and training, along with the use of skilled professionals, can benefit Community Association Managers (CAMs) and the Associations they serve. When CAMs and Boards are trained to use conflict resolution techniques and know when to call for additional, professional resources, their toolbox is full of the right tools to help fix community conflict, headaches, and lack of cooperation.

Smart CAMs and savvy Boards know that conflict is costly to a community. Conflict may exist in community association living, but it is how we handle it that matters. You can turn stress into success with the right know-how. Knowing how to prevent and resolve disputes strengthens communities. Learning the right steps to deescalate, defuse, and decompress conflict-filled situations, can help your community press the re-set button before heated encounters occur. Calling a professional mediator to resolve conflict, can also help end a condo war before it begins.

An Association is a business. Conflict prevention, management, and resolution education and training, along with the use of professional resources, are essentially a customer service opportunity for that business. Decreasing discord results in increased owner retention, attracting new owners, and protecting the investment of the community. Your community can redefine resolution and transform conflict with the right education, training and resources. There are many, many effective ways to resolve conflict.

5 Community Association Conflict Resolution Tips & Techniques:

  1. People are Not Against You, They are Just for Themselves. Once you realize this and do not take the conflict personally, you can separate the person from the problem. That way, you can be hard on the problem, not the person. Sometimes people can act their worst when they feel powerless.
  1. 90% of Ending Conflict is in the Approach: There are two (2) ways to put down a plane—a crash landing or a smooth landing. Associations that take time to respond and not react to a dispute are more likely to come up with smooth approaches to conflict with new insights, new clarity, and new ideas. You don’t have to flex your muscles to impose strength. Do not shame the behavior, shape the behavior. The way a community approaches a dispute can have a huge impact on its outcome.
  1. Change the Frame, Change the Game: When you reframe the conversation to work together as problem solvers, you dramatically increase your chances of resolution. You can refocus the fight and understand that the other person is not your adversary, but rather your partner in resolving the problem. After all, you are all neighbors living together in the same community. Preserving relationships is paramount.
  1. Focus on the Fix, NOT the Fight: Re-hashing the past can often make conflict worse. Avoid fault-finding. When you engage the other person and focus on problem-solving with future orientation, not only are you more likely to resolve your dispute, but you increase the rate of compliance with a sustainable solution that you do agree upon.
  1. Keep Calm, and Call the Mediator! A skilled, professional mediator with a strong background in Community Association law and this industry can help your Association resolve disputes quickly, inexpensively, efficiently, effectively, confidentially, and with mutually satisfactory results.

CAMs and Boards can use the winning strategy of Conflict Resolution to cost-effectively resolve Condo/HOA/Co-Op Conflict by seeking the proper education, training, and calling the right professionals to stop sparks from turning into flames. If you’ve got Condo Conflict, HOA Headaches, and No Cooperation in your Co-Op: Conflict Resolution is the Solution! 


Kat Marquis

Kathleen (Kat) Marquis, Esq.

Marquis Mediation, P.O. Box 10075, Bedford, NH 03110

Phone: 740-815- 8687



Kathleen (Kat) Marquis is the principal of Marquis Mediation. She is a Community Association conflict resolver. Kat is an Attorney and Court-Certified Mediator with over 20 years of professional legal experience, specializing in Community Association law. As a condominium law practitioner and commercial litigator, she has been involved with litigating, settling and resolving thousands of cases in her legal career. Attorney Marquis negotiates and resolves complex, multi-party disputes in connection with her litigation and mediation practices.

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