CMCA Recertification – April 1 Deadline

CAMICB sent reminder notices to CMCAs who need to recertify and/or pay their annual service fee by April 1, 2018. Here are a few helpful links:

A few things to note:

1.    It is the responsibility of each CMCA to provide documentation of their 16 hours of continuing education at the time of recertification. CAMICB does not track your CEs. If you took a class with CAI, please go to www.caionline.org to print out a certificate of completion.

2.    Only courses completed between April 1, 2016 and April 1, 2018 count as continuing education.

3.    An active AMS, PCAM, FL CAM, NV CAM or NAHC-RCM satisfies the continuing education requirement. Check option 1 on line item #4 of the Recertification Application to receive credit.

4.    Credit hours may be earned only for education that pertains to community association operations or management and/or contributes to the professional development of the CMCA.

5.    The CMCA Annual Service Fee is $105.00. Oftentimes this fee is confused with CAI’s individual manager membership. While CAMICB maintains an affiliate relationship with CAI, we are an independent credentialing body: separately incorporated, governed by an independent Board of Trustees, and guided in the administration of our program by the standards of our accrediting body, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. We are not a membership organization; we do not collect membership dues. We assess our credential holders an annual maintenance fee which is used to support the development and delivery of our core exam and the operation of our program in accordance with best practices in professional credentialing.

Still have questions? Contact CAMICB at info@camicb.org or take advantage of the March 1 webinar CMCA Recertification Notice – Free Webinar on March 1, beginning at 2:00 p.m. EST. Register Today

 

Successful Monthly Meetings

Below is a list from a board president on how to make successful monthly meetings. The article was published by The Educational Community for Homeowners (ECHO). ECHO is a nonprofit membership corporation dedicated to assisting California homeowners associations

Read the full excerpt from ECHO here: https://www.echo-ca.org/blogs/6-elements-successful-monthly-meeting

Tim Polk, past President of the Roundtree Homeowners Association in Calidornia identified the following elements of a successful monthly meeting:

  1. Starting with a Plan
  2. Priorities in Order
  3. Ownership
  4. Focus on Results
  5. Controlled Homeowner Input
  6. Fun and Enjoyable

How do you help your volunteer leads have a productive meeting? Leave some tips in the comment section below.

meeting

CMCA Recertification – A Webinar

 CMCA® Recertification & Annual Service Fee Notice … A Free, Interactive Webinar

Get answers to these questions and more …

webinar-1
Are you due to recertify April 1? 

 

 

  • Why do I need to recertify?
  • What is the process for recertification?
  • What happens if I don’t recertify?
  • When is my recertification due?

During this highly interactive program, get real-time answers to your questions about the CMCA Recertification Process.

Join us on March 1st at 2pm EST for a free interactive webinar to get the answers you need. Our experts will be there to help you navigate the process.

Click here to REGISTER TODAY!

Click here for Technical Assistance

Is a Quest for Engagement Leading to Burnout?

By / Feb 5, 2018 (olm26250/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

 Are your most highly engaged workers also your most stressed?

Employee engagement is a valuable goal, and many organizations expend a lot of effort to encourage it. After all, increased engagement often results in a rise of productivity, employee retention, and quality of work. The gains are clear, but have you paused to consider that there may be a downside?

Harvard Business Review explores the cons of being a proactive and invested employee. “While engagement certainly has its benefits, most of us will have noticed that, when we are highly engaged in working towards a goal we can also experience something less than positive: high levels of stress,” write Emma Seppala and Julia Moeller.

A recent study from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence looks at the relationship between engagement and burnout amongst U.S. employees. The study found that two out of five employees reported high engagement and low burnout, but one out of five reported high engagement and high burnout.

“These engaged-exhausted workers were passionate about their work, but also had intensely mixed feelings about it—reporting high levels of interest, stress, and frustration,” say Seppala and Moeller. “While they showed desirable behaviors such as high skill acquisition, these apparent model employees also reported the highest turnover intentions in our sample—even higher than the unengaged group.”

The article goes on to provide guidance for maintaining engagement without burning out.

Speaking of burnout … a common phrase you use in internal meetings may be leading your team to exhaustion.

Have you caught yourself asking for your team to give 110 percent? “As a manager and leader, it is important to me that my team is operating at its best. But I never ask them for 110%,” writes Jamie Domenici in a recent Salesforce blog post. “Expecting 110 percent [of] your team’s effort and time is a great way to ensure burnout and low employee satisfaction.”

Domenici also says to cut office jargon such as “think outside the box,” “take it offline,” and “knowledge transfer” to make internal meetings more effective.

How to Get Your Point Across to these 5 Personality Types

Not everyone thinks the same way. Here’s how to repurpose a three-decade-old management theory to tailor your message to just about anybody. marketing-man-person-communication.jpg

The VP of finance for a major multinational company recently came to me with a problem. “I’ve been trying to start a conversation with the VP of marketing, and he won’t talk to me,” he said. “Whenever I try to ask him what he thinks about my ideas, he doesn’t respond.”

I asked him to describe the marketing VP to me. As he talked about his personality, I thought of a potential solution: “Don’t ask him what he thinks about your ideas,” I said. “Ask him what’s wrong with them.”

A few weeks later, I heard back from my client. “Your advice was amazing!” he said. “We spent two hours discussing issues, and he wants to meet with me every week now!”

Why did I give him that advice? Because as he described the marketing VP to me, I realized what type of speaking approach would most likely resonate: one that appealed to his colleague’s problem-solving personality.

While psychological research has progressed quite a bit since Edward de Bono released his influential  book Six Thinking Hats in 1985, I find framework still offers a handy set of metaphors for adjusting your speaking style to fit listeners’ thinking styles and personalities (though I typically prefer sticking to just five). Here are five ways to frame your message, riffing on de Bono’s 33-year-old idea, according to the people or person you’re communicating with.

Jan. 30, 2018 By Anett Grant for Fast Company.

Diversifying Your Board Practicing and Prioritizing Inclusivity

That said, a key difference between holding public office and holding a board position is that fewer people are clamoring to do the latter. Board members are almost always volunteers who are taking time away from their careers or families to serve the interests of their association, and the job requires a great commitment for arguably less reward than one would find in a political career. Looking for a contender to fill an open board slot can often be slim pickings, in which case the first warm and willing body to take the role sometimes just has to do.

By Mike Odenthal   2018 February Board Operations

This all raises several questions: How important is it for a board to accurately represent the demographics of its owners or shareholders? How likely are boards across various markets to be adequately representative? Who is most likely to run for board positions in general? Who is best positioned to encourage increased board diversity, and how can they go about it?

Defining Diversity

In order to frame the discussion, it’s worth reviewing what diversity means today, and how the term has evolved over time.

“Fifty years ago, when people in the U.S. spoke of diversity on corporate boards of directors, they were likely most commonly referring to either race or gender,” says James Erwin, founding partner of Erwin Law, LLC, in Chicago. “Now, the term encompasses a significantly broader spectrum of factors: gender identity, socioeconomic status, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political affiliation, and age, among others. Associations are managed by boards, and the directors that sit on those boards should consider these diversity factors in their management decisions.

“The larger an association, the more likelihood that diversity will play a role in the operations of the association,” Erwin continues. “For starters, because the board is supposed to represent the entire association constituency, the greater the diversity among its directors, the more likely they will be to actually reflect the various perspectives of the ownership that they represent.”

Beggars Versus Choosers

Perhaps the biggest impediment to recruiting a diverse board is simply the fact that too few individuals are willing to step up and serve on their boards. When the candidate pool is that shallow, associations can find themselves taking on whoever shows up.

“We often find ourselves in a ‘take whoever we can get’ situation,” says Bart Steele, a senior regional property manager with Premier Property Solutions in Boston, “because many people either have no interest in joining a board, or they are intimidated due to lack of knowledge about what the board specifically does, and thus stay out. In my opinion, this would probably change were board members to get paid for their time.”

The means by which a board is elected can also be a hurdle in promoting diversity. “In the condo realm, a piece of paper goes out 60 days before an election announcing that the members can run, but there may not even be a discussion, let alone a ‘meet the candidates’ night,” laments Shari Wald Garrett, Esq., an associate at Siegfried, Rivera, Hyman, Lerner, De La Torre, Mars & Sobel, P.A., which has offices in Florida. “In these scenarios, whoever gathers the most friends to vote for them is going to be who sits on the board. Or some owners could just be picking the first six names on the sheet, or their neighbors, or a name that they like. And neither board nor management can endorse a candidate.

“Let’s say that I sat on a board and I thought that it was too heavily sided toward a particular demographic, and that there was another rising population that was not being represented,” Garrett continues. “The board can’t say, ‘We need more of the latter,’ because then it’s discriminating. An individual board member can suggest, based on that board member’s own individual capacity, that another resident run [for a seat on the board], but the member cannot do so in any board capacity, and it is out of management’s hands.”

Old Guard

In many cases, boards consist heavily of those residents who have lived at a property the longest. As they’ve spent much of their life both emotionally and financially invested in an association, they feel more capable to and concerned with shaping its future.

“My experience in dealing with boards that were established in the Seventies and Eighties or earlier is that they are often more reflective of the shareholders who have lived in the building for many years, and are in the most part older and either ‘old money,’ or those who are now living on more fixed incomes,” says Sandra L. Jacobus, a partner in the Real Estate Transactions and Cooperative and Condominium Housing practice groups at  New York City law firm Ganfer & Shore. “In both instances, these board members do not share the concerns and priorities as the new shareholders, who tend to be younger and more affluent, or are at least wanting to spend more money on amenities and favor permitting bank financing in previously ‘all-cash’ buildings, or lowering the amount of the cash requirement.”

In addition to the above, Matthew J. Leeds, who is also a partner at Ganfer & Shore, notes a dearth of women holding board positions. “With one major exception, I have personally found that the constitution of a board has been reflective of the population of the building,” he says. “But that exception is gender. I have observed that overall, boards do not seem to include women in proportion to the makeup of the building. Based on population, you would expect it to consist of about half. I’m not sure if others have had this experience as well.”

Finally, not only gender and tenure, but geographical dominance can lead to a lopsided board. “I am dealing with a situation at an 80-unit association wherein 70 units are situated in a main building, while the remaining 10 are townhouses,” relates Steele. “All four members of this board live in that main building – and the townhouses do not feel represented. Those owners feel screwed – or taxed without representation – when they have to, for example, pay their share of a $150K elevator replacement in the main building, which they’ll never utilize. Thus, I encourage those townhouse owners who complain to run for the board in the next election.”

Mixing It Up

While the board and management may not be able—or willing—to actively push to diversify representation, that doesn’t mean that members of an association are powerless to ensure that everyone has a voice.

“Tackling this problem begins with education, innovation and transparency,” says Erwin. “Boards should make an effort to educate the owners about what the directors do, and how that work affects those owners’ daily lives. Proactively keeping them informed is often the best way to get them engaged in board matters, which will in turn get them to step up and volunteer for the job.”

Much of the responsibility falls to the individual. One cannot lament the homogeneity of their board from the sidelines – because after all, a board will not simply diversify itself. “You, as an individual member of the association, have to market yourself,” urges Garrett. “You have to go door-to-door and get your name out. Everyone has that opportunity, but the onus falls to the owner.”

“I often counsel board members to be open and transparent when dealing with the issue of diversity,” Erwin adds. “If the board clearly lacks diversity, they should make this known to the owners. For example, if a board is made up of mostly elderly folks in a community with a lot of younger owners, the board would be wise to bring this to the attention of the ownership. We often forget that, particularly in larger associations, owners only see the names of the directors, and have no idea whether or not any of them actually represents their personal perspectives. There is nothing wrong with telling the constituency that the board would welcome greater diversity and that a more diverse pool of applicants to the board at the next election is encouraged. In fact, in the instances where I have seen boards circulate such an invitation and notice, the ownership has responded positively and with appreciation for the fact that the directors were honest and open about that lack of diversity.”

Mike Odenthal is a staff writer/reporter for The Cooperator

Why We Ignore Digital Communications

By / Feb 2, 2018 (MissTuni/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

In the age of instant communication, why are people taking their sweet time to get back to us?

We all have our smartphones nearby all the time. And nearly everyone should be seeing your personal or professional texts and emails as soon as you send them. Given that, why does it seem like it’s harder and harder to hear back from people?

And add to it that when people don’t respond right away, it can provoke an uncomfortable, antsy feeling.

“It’s anxiety-inducing because written communication is now designed to mimic conversation—but only when it comes to timing,” Julie Beck writes in a thoughtful piece for The Atlantic. We often expect instantaneous responses, and when we don’t get them, it leaves us feeling stressed out.

But the truth is, as much as we often appreciate the on-demand nature of digital communications, texts and emails simply do not carry a sense of obligation the way phone calls or face-to-face interactions do.

“Written instant messages create a smokescreen of plausible deniability if someone doesn’t feel like responding, which can be relieving for the hider, and frustrating for the seeker,” says Beck.

So, why aren’t people responding to texts and emails right away? They don’t feel like they have to. “Just because people know how stressful it can be to wait for a reply to what they thought would be an instant message doesn’t mean they won’t ignore others’ messages in turn.

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a publication of the American Society of Association Executives.

Be More Assertive Not Pushy

By: Andy Molinsky for Harvard Business Review.

In the workplace, we all run into conflict. Many of us would love to speak up and assert ourselves to correct it. And, in a perfect world, it would be easy. You could finally tell that colleague who keeps interrupting you exactly how you feel. You could give him a piece of your mind, releasing the frustration and anger that’s been gnawing at you for months. You could finally express that part of you that feels so underappreciated and marginalized.

But speaking up can be difficult — and sometimes overwhelming — especially if you are shy, lack confidence, or come from a culture where it is inappropriate to speak up. It can feel pushy and overly aggressive to be assertive, especially if you’re timid or hate conflict. It can also feel awkward and unnatural, not least if you’re more inclined to voice your frustrations and discontent in an indirect or passive manner.

But there is hope for the chronically unassertive among us. Fears about speaking up are hard but not impossible to overcome. Voicing your frustration with an “assertiveness formula” can help.

I first learned about the idea of an assertiveness formula many years ago, reading the book People Skills, by Robert Bolton. Although Bolton applied his formula to instances of everyday life (for example, discussing household chores), I found it equally appropriate for the workplace. Over time, I’ve developed my own three-part version of it in my teaching and training.

1.      Start with a short, simple, objective statement about the other person’s behavior — what you’d like to see changed. For example: “When you interrupt me during meetings” or “When you take sole credit for the work we’ve done collaboratively.” Your goal here is to get the other person’s attention and, in doing so, minimize their defensiveness. The statement should be short, to the point, and evenhanded and unemotional enough that they can hear your message and not immediately disagree or disengage.

2.      Describe the negative effect that this behavior has had on you. Explain why the person’s behavior is causing a problem. For example, if the first part of the formula is “When you continually interrupt me during meetings,” you might then add, “I don’t get a chance to voice my opinion.” Or, for “When you take sole credit for the work we’ve done collaboratively,” you’d add, “I don’t have a chance to highlight my role and contribution.” The goal here is to build a cause-and-effect logic, linking an objective statement of their behavior to the impact that the behavior has had on you.

3.      End with a feelings statement. Here, you want to indicate how their offending behavior has not only negatively impacted your actions but also hurt your feelings. An example of a feelings statement might be “I feel marginalized” or “I feel underappreciated.” While the other person may feel surprised— and even uncomfortable — to hear this, it’s hard to refute a person’s feelings. Adding this element makes the assertiveness message as a whole that much more powerful. Putting it all together, you have something like this: “When you continually interrupt me during meetings, I don’t get a chance to voice my opinion, and I feel marginalized.” A well-crafted assertiveness message can be effective on the spot, if you have the emotional wherewithal to deliver it. But it can also be something you hone and craft in preparation for an upcoming conversation, especially if you don’t feel particularly practiced at the craft or if you’re anticipating a defensive reaction from the other person.

Of course, even with a formula in hand, assertiveness isn’t always easy. It’s quite possible that the recipient of your message will react negatively, so you’ll want to meet any response with a calm, steady, and confident presence. You’ll also want to accumulate as much evidence as possible to support the first part of your message — the statement about the other person’s offending behavior. Your goal is to provide enough clarity and specificity about this behavior that your statement impossible to refute. What also helps is demonstrating a pattern of behavior over time, which might require you to keep a diary of instances when you’ve felt hurt, undermined, or offended by the person’s actions. Don’t use this record as an opportunity to harp on your colleague for the many times you felt they were at fault; use it only as backup material if your counterpart refutes you and needs convincing. This evidence will be key for increasing the likelihood that your message will be heard and ultimately have the intended effect on the recipient.

Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all version of the message. You can tweak it to your own style to make the message feel as authentic as possible. For instance, I’ve interviewed one manager who liked to pace up and down the hallway a few times, with what she called an “executive-style” walk, to get up the courage to confront her colleague. Someone else made sure not to use “qualifiers” in her speech (“I’m really sorry, but…” or “Maybe it’s just me, but…”), and instead aimed to get right to the point (“I’m not comfortable with…”). Others drew on their convictions — the reasons they were speaking up — to give them the courage. For example, someone who wants to teach their children to stand up to others used that conviction as a guiding purpose for speaking up themselves. The point is that you have more power than you think to craft a personalized way to speak out, one that works for you.

In the end, speaking up is genuinely hard for many of us. And the results are far from guaranteed. The other person may respond in a positive way immediately; they might respond positively and productively but with a significant delay; or they might not change at all. But for you, getting up the courage to voice your frustrations in the first place can be a significant win.

 

How to Rebuild a Board Following a Scandal

By / Feb 2, 2018 (Portra/iStock/Getty Images Plus

After a high-profile scandal, USA Gymnastics now has to rebuild its board as well as trust in its organization. Doubling down on transparency, one governance professional says, can help get a scandal-damaged organization back on its feet.

Following the high-profile trial of Larry Nassar, a physician for the U.S. gymnastics team who was convicted last month of sexually abusing more than 150 young women, the association representing the gymnastics community is starting over with a new board.

On January 22, two days before Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison, USA Gymnastics announced the resignation of three members of its executive board. “We believe this step will allow us to more effectively move forward in implementing change within our organization,” the association said in a statement.

“If there was ever a time to over-communicate, this is that time.”

However, in a January 25 letter [PDF], Scott Blackmun, CEO of the United States Olympic Committee, demanded that USA Gymnastics go further if it wished to preserve its status as a governing body with authority over the sport. First on Blackmun’s list: all current board members of USA Gymnastics must resign.

On January 31, the association announced that it had complied with USOC’s request. “USA Gymnastics embraces not only the changes necessary as called for by the USOC and the Deborah Daniels report [on protecting young athletes, commissioned after abuse stories became public], but we also will hold the organization to the highest standards of care and safety in further developing a culture of empowerment for our athletes and members,” it said in a statement.

Blackmun’s letter includes guidelines about the process for seating interim and regular board members—and also requests that a “USOC-designated liaison” be invited to board meetings in order to help ensure that it addresses eliminating cases of abuse in the sport.

For any association facing a governance crisis, transparency about how the new board will go about its business is essential, said John Barnes, CEO of Barnes Association Consultants. “The replacements on the board of directors need to be seen as instantly credible and instantly trusted by members, stakeholders, the public, and public policymakers,” he said. “The process for selecting the new board members needs to be transparent and shared with all interested parties.”

The USOC also requested that all USA Gymnastics staff and board members undergo training on ethics and appropriate handling of sexual abuse claims. Such actions, Barnes says, are important not just in themselves but for making the public aware how engaged an association is with the problem.

“Communication needs to be constant and address every potential question anyone might have regarding the new leadership for the organization and the process used to identify the new leadership,” he said. “If there was ever a time to over-communicate, this is that time.”

“The institution has been severely damaged and it will take a very long time to heal the wounds,” he added. “The first step in the healing process is to welcome the scrutiny of the organization at this challenging time.”

Mark Athitakis is a contributing editor for Associations Now, a publication of the American Society of Association Executives.

Good Counsel: Get Classification Right for Employees

By / Dec 1, 2017 (APCortizasJr/Getty Images Plus)

Two questions about workers keep you in line with labor law under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Whether your association has one staffer or 100 or somewhere in between, you need to understand the federal laws that affect how you classify and pay them.

The Fair Labor Standards Act is the primary federal law governing minimum wage, overtime pay, and related record-keeping matters for private-sector employers. To determine whether you’ve properly classified someone who works for you under the FLSA, you need to answer two key questions.

1. Is the employee an independent contractor? The answer affects your obligation to pay overtime, withhold and pay taxes, and provide employee benefits. Even if a worker may be eligible for independent contractor status, you may always choose to classify the worker as an employee. But reclassifying a worker from employee to independent contractor may invite scrutiny, especially if the worker’s duties and work conditions have not changed.

Under the FLSA, an employee is defined as “any individual employed by an employer,” and to “employ” means to “suffer or permit to work.” In light of these open-ended definitions, the courts have looked at several factors when determining whether an individual qualifies as an employee or should be classified as an independent contractor. For example:

whether the business has the right to control how the work is performed (as opposed to the completed work product)

the extent to which the worker’s services are an integral part of the business

whether the worker has his or her own business and, if so, the worker’s investment in it

The courts consider all relevant factors and do not view any single factor as determinative.

2. If the worker is classified as an employee, is he or she exempt or nonexempt from FLSA coverage? The typical differences are that exempt employees are paid a salary and are not entitled to overtime pay. The most common exemptions are for executive, administrative, professional, and highly compensated employees. Each exemption applies only if the employee’s salary and duties meet the criteria set forth in the regulations.

Be aware that federal law may not be the only one that applies. Some states have their own FLSA equivalents, which may have more stringent requirements. And more municipalities are passing ordinances that affect the use of independent contractors, scheduling, minimum wage, and other workplace matters.

Worker classification is fact-specific and fraught with traps for the unwary. Always consult with an experienced HR or legal professional when classifying a new employee or reclassifying an existing one.

Associations Now is a publication of the American Society of Association Executive. Joseph Doherty is associate general counsel at Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America in Alexandria, Virginia.