CAMICB is a more than 25 year old independent professional certification body responsible for developing and delivering the Certified Manager of Community Associations® (CMCA) examination. CAMICB awards and maintains the CMCA credential, recognized worldwide as a benchmark of professionalism in the field of common interest community management. The CMCA examination tests the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform effectively as a professional community association manager. CMCA credential holders attest to full compliance with the CMCA Standards of Professional Conduct, committing to ethical and informed execution of the duties of a professional manager.
The CMCA credentialing program carries dual accreditation. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) accredits the CMCA program for meeting its U.S.-based standards for credentialing bodies. The ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) accredits the CMCA program for meeting the stringent requirements of the ISO/IEC 17024 Standard, the international standards for certification bodies. The program's dual accreditation represents compliance with rigorous standards for developing, delivering, and maintaining a professional credentialing program. It underscores the strength and integrity of the CMCA credential.
I just finished the book, All In, which is Billie Jean King’s autobiography. Wow! She has accomplished so much in her life – for women, for people of color, for the LGBTQ community, and numerous others. She surely, in the eyes of a great many, is helping form the world for the better.
While I wanted to read the book as I know a lot about Billie Jean, I was also struck by the title, All In.
I believe the title, All In, encapsulates the principles of helping to make things better and thinking like an owner. Whatever our position, we should always feel a responsibility to help our company be the best we can be. Being “all in” as Billie Jean is, has enabled her to accomplish so much.
There are important takeaways in All In. Two that I feel are especially relevant for all of us in business, including the nonprofit and religious worlds, are:
Never stop learning, and
Relationships are everything.
With regard to learning, let’s realize that we can learn from everyone!
The best ideas are bottom up ideas.
Want something improved? Ask the people doing that work.
Listen, listen, then listen some more.
Thank people. Let them know they are appreciated and valued.
With regard to relationships, this is what leadership is – relationships. Relationships which inspire people, empowering them, helping them feel good about themselves, and helping them be successful. And we must realize that developing and maintaining these relationships are accomplished via conversations, ideally one-on-one conversations.
Too busy? Then change that. Nothing is more important than our colleagues!
“All in” dedication, helping to make things better, and thinking like an owner, having a personal interest as well as a professional interest in our company’s success – if we bring these principles and practices to our work, we’ll very likely have a successful, satisfying, and fulfilling career, and be admired and respected by our colleagues.
Whether we have a goal of being a top-level executive in business or rather having a satisfying career in which we know we did our best and feel fulfilled, we cannot be half-hearted in what we do.
There is a great lesson in Mother Theresa’s philosophy, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love”. While this is certainly true in life, it is very true in business as well.
Be “All In” in every aspect of our life – and success, love, joy, connection and meaning flow.
Virginia Pierce Promoted to Program Specialist; Cecilia Montero Carranza Promoted to Credentialing Associate
The Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB) announced Executive Office Staff changes to better serve credential holders, candidates and the growing community association management profession.
“As the CMCA credential has grown both nationally and internationally, a focused effort has been made to align the CAMICB staff team in a way that will serve the CMCA credentialing program, our candidates and credential holders, and the field of community association management as effectively and responsively as possible, now and in the years to come,” said CAMICB Executive Director, John Ganoe.
Madeline Hay, who joined CAMICB in 2017, supervises the CMCA examination program, focusing on exam and business development, quality control, international expansion, and data analytics. Madeline has been promoted to Director, Examination Administration.
In her new role, she will be actively engaged in all aspects of CMCA exam development and delivery. In doing so, she will serve as primary liaison with CAMICB’s test development partner, HumRRO. Madeline will work to expand the pool of working Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) making sure they are used effectively and responsively to support all aspects of exam development. In addition, Madeline will spearhead the development and execution of the new Job Task Analysis.
In August, CAMICB welcomed a new team member, Susan King, who serves as Examination Coordinator. In this new role, Susan has responsibility for the administrative aspects of the CMCA exam, including the application process, management of the candidate pool, and results delivery.
A Strong Infrastructure
There are many behind-the-scenes activities that are critical to smoothly executing the nuts and bolts of the CMCA credentialing program. As CAMICB’s Program Specialist, Virginia Pierce is the principal point of contact for the CMCA renewal, recertification, and reinstatement processes. Her expanded responsibilities include working closely with the Associate Executive Director to ensure the CMCA credentialing program meets the quality assurance benchmarks and accreditation compliance measures.
CAMICB places a premium on providing high quality customer service to its credential holders. Cecilia Montero Carranza has been extremely effective in fulfilling this important role and as a result has been promoted to Credentialing Associate. Her expanded role includes oversight of the CAMICB office, website, and credential holder database.
Said Chair of the CAMICB Board of Commissioners, Drew Mulhare, CMCA, LSM, PCAM, “I thoroughly enjoy working alongside this talented and dedicated team of professionals. I wish each of them well and look forward to continuing our important work together as they shift – so deservingly – into new roles with broadened responsibilities.”
A website is a handy tool for any homeowners association. It defines how a community interacts with its residents and eases communication. What’s more? An HOA website makes it easy to access community rules and improves transparency between the residents and the management. Are you seeking ideas for the best HOA and condo website? Well, every association has unique needs, but there are must-have features to look out for.
What features define the best HOA websites?
The features matter a lot when it comes to the choice of website. Although all associations are different, the site should make it easier to manage your community. To build a website with the best features, seek help from an HOA Website company, and consider the following characteristics.
1. Dedicated domain
The website should feature a dedicated domain. This makes it easy for others to locate it, thus the need to choose something straightforward.
2. Resident portals
The HOA website should also have portals to serve both existing and potential homeowners. The current members should access account balances, file service requests, and retrieve vital documents with ease.
3. Online payment options
Online payment options are also vital. Collecting dues using conventional means is inconvenient and time-consuming. The best websites integrate an online payment option, allowing homeowners to settle dues using their user accounts.
4. Calendar& Communication channels
The site should also feature a community calendar for events, communication channels, and polling abilities. Lastly, it should be mobile-friendly and easy to use.
What are the best HOA& Condo websites?
1. The Towers Of Channelside
This is a perfect choice for people seeking to build a condo association website. The site features an easy-to-use interface with clear and professional images of both the building and neighborhood. Still, it provides basic information about the community, and the clickable links appeal to all visitors. A vital feature of the website is the resident portal. You can include private access with logins assigned to all members.
2. Kensington Glen
Kensington Glen website is one of the best HOA & Condo websites. It’s renowned for its crisp, clear images on the landing page and all over the site. Moreover, it features a call to action, which prompts user interaction among members. The site is easy to use and very inviting, and you can use it to list the homes for sale in the neighborhood. This is an impressive bonus that allows residents to learn more about the house on sale.
3. Islands of Cocoplum
This HOA website is excellently designed and features professional photos and an aerial view of the property. It includes features like property information, contact information, excellent imagery, and private resident portals.
4. Waterfall South Jacksonville Beach Condos
Waterfall South Jacksonville Beach Condos makes a great association website due to its intuitive features. It presents simple clickable links on the homepage directing users to useful information and services. It also features information and contact details, making it easier for visitors to get an idea of the property.
An HOA website is a great way to organize and automate responsibilities. It acts as a central spot where all members can access information and build better relationships. It also helps board members to keep residents posted on any initiatives and events. However, the best HOA website incorporates various features to enhance communication and ease payments.
Legal Matters – S. Kyla ThomsonSpecial to Naples Daily News
Attorneys at Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross respond to questions about Florida community association law. With offices in Naples, Fort Myers, Coral Gables and Delray Beach, the firm represents community associations throughout Florida and focuses on condominium and homeowner association law, real estate law, litigation, estate planning and business law.
Q: I have heard that there have been recent changes in the law that requires a condominium association to send a special late notice to owners who are delinquent in payment of their assessments. Can you provide more information regarding the recent changes? J.C., Bonita Springs
A: There was an amendment to the Condominium Act, which took effect on July 1, 2021. Prior to July 1, 2021, each condominium association, depending on the requirements of its Declaration of Condominium or Bylaws, would send a delinquent owner a late notice letter with a specific number of days to remedy the delinquency or be subject to additional action, including legal action. The issue here is that there was no consistency to these late notices. Most condominium association documents did not require these late notices and if a condominium association chose to send the late notices, it was usually in the board’s discretion to determine the number of days to provide the owner to remedy the delinquency.
As of July 1, 2021, a condominium association may not require the payment of attorney’s fees related to a past due assessment without first delivering a written notice of late assessment to the owner. The notice of late assessment must specify the amount owed, late fee (if applicable), any interest incurred, and the total amount owed to the condominium association. The notice of late assessment must be sent via first class mail to the unit address and to the owner’s last mailing address as provided in the condominium association’s records, if any. The language of the notice of late assessment must provide the owner with thirty (30) days from the date of the notice to pay the amounts owed or further collection action will be commenced. In order to assist the condominium associations, the Florida Legislature provided a form of the notice of late assessment in Section 718.121(5), Florida Statutes.
The board of directors should consult with its legal counsel regarding implementing these changes into the condominium association’s collections process. Additionally, it is important to note that these changes also took effect for Homeowner’s Associations (720.3085(3)(d), Florida Statutes) and Cooperatives (719.108(3)(c), Florida Statutes).
Q: Our homeowner’s association (HOA) would like to pursue enforcement of its restrictions by fining and suspending the use rights to our amenity center (pool, fitness center, etc.). However, we cannot find enough people to serve on the fining/suspension committee. Is this committee required or can the board move forward with collecting a fine or suspending an owner’s right to use the amenity center without the fining/suspension committee? R.M., Naples
A: In my opinion, this fining/suspension committee is required if your HOA wants to impose a fine or suspend a common area use right. Generally, an HOA is allowed to fine or suspend common area use rights, such as the use of specific amenities like the pool or the fitness center, as a consequence for an owner’s or his/her guests’ or invitees’ violation of the HOA’s restrictions. That being said, Florida law states that a fine or suspension by the board of directors may not be imposed unless the board first provides at least 14 days’ notice to the owner sought to be fined or suspended and an opportunity for a hearing before a committee of at lease three (3) members appointed by the board who are not officers, directors, or employees of the HOA, or the spouse, parent, child, brother, or sister of an officer, director, or employee. At the hearing, if the fining/suspension committee, by majority vote, does not approve a proposed fine or suspension, the proposed fine or suspension may not be imposed. Further, the law states that the role of the fining/suspension committee is limited to determining whether to confirm or reject the fine or suspension levied by the board.
The language in Chapter 720, Florida Statutes (the HOA Act) would seem to imply that a fining/suspension committee hearing is required if your board intends to move forward with imposing a fine or suspension of common area use rights. However, there is some debate regarding whether a fining/suspension committee hearing is actually required or only the opportunity for the hearing is required and if the owner does not request a hearing, then no hearing is required. I believe it is reasonable to assume that the fining/suspension committee’s role is not just to determine whether a violation occurred but also whether the amount of fine or duration of the proposed suspension is suitable. To that end, I recommend the HOA conduct the fining/suspension committee hearing whether or not the owner requests the hearing. Further, I also recommend that you consult with your legal counsel to review whether your Declaration of Covenants and Bylaws require any other procedural requirements necessary to levy the fine or suspension.
Q: My community limits each owner to one (1) pet per unit. There is an owner with two (2) pets in her unit. However, she claims that one (1) animal is her pet and the other is her emotional support animal. Is this allowed? R.T., Naples
A: If we assume that the owner’s request for her emotional support animal is valid, then the owner will be allowed to keep one (1) pet, in compliance with your community’s one (1) pet restriction, and the emotional support animal.
The Fair Housing Act, the law on which the owner’s emotional support animal request is based, does not consider or recognize emotional support animals or other assistance animals as pets. Instead, they are considered tools that work, provide assistance, perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provide emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. Additionally, while dogs are the most common types of emotional support or assistance animals, other animals can also serve as emotional support or assistance animals.
That being said, the answer to this question assumes that the owner’s request for an emotional support animal is valid. However, your community’s board of directors should ensure that the owner has provided the documentation, where the disability is not readily apparent, in order to properly validate the request for an emotional support animal. It is important that your board of directors consult its legal counsel regarding whether documentation provided is sufficient as each request is unique and must be treated on a case-by-case basis.
S. Kyla Thomson, Esq., is Partner of the Law Firm Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross. Visit http://www.gadclaw.com or to ask questions about your issues for future columns, send your inquiry to: email@example.com. The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The publication of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, or any of our attorneys. Readers should not act or refrain from acting based upon the information contained in this article without first contacting an attorney, if you have questions about any of the issues raised herein. The hiring of an attorney is a decision that should not be based solely on advertisements or this column.
The field of community association management offers great potential for professionals who have experience in people-centric roles. If you’ve worked in the hospitality or service industry, this might be a career path to consider. And whether you’re new to the field or have been working as a community association manager for some time, it’s worth learning about how the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) credential can help you take your career to the next level.
The Community Associations Institute (CAI) estimates that as of 2018, there are approximately 355,000 community associations in the United States housing over 74 million residents. That’s 11 million more residents than just a decade ago. In fact, one in four people in the U.S. lives in a community association. There are approximately 8,000 community association management companies and up to 60,000 off and on-site community association managers in the U.S. alone. As the number of people living in community associations increases, so too does the need for community association managers.
Job prospects are excellent, especially for community association managers who hold a professional designation. It’s estimated that up to 26 percent of all ownership housing is in one of the three basic types of community associations. As of May 2020, the median annual wage for community association managers was just over $59,500. As job prospects and wages vary from state to state, it’s a good idea to check out your area’s particulars.
CMCA – The Essential Credential
The Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) credential key to building a successful career in community association management. It signifies to employers you’re competent in specific management practices and are committed to professional excellence, ethical business standards, and continuing education. Employers are always on the lookout for dedicated professionals, and the CMCA credential after your name often makes the difference between whether or not you land the all-important first interview.
The CMCA credential is highly accessible:
It can be achieved with a limited investment of time and money on your part.
It takes a few days of prerequisite course work, some time for study, and one day for the exam.
Its relatively low cost is a great investment in your future.
Earning the CMCA credential opens the door to higher earnings—on average 20 percent more—than non-credentialed community association managers. It is also a great way to build your professional expertise and image.
The CMCA program is dual accredited. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) accredits the CMCA program for meeting its U.S.-based standards for credentialing bodies. The ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) accredits the CMCA program for meeting the stringent requirements of ISO/IEC 17024 Standard, the international standards for certification bodies. The program’s dual accreditation represents compliance with rigorous standards for developing, delivering, and maintaining a professional credentialing program. It makes the CMCA credential one of a small number of dual-accredited credentialing bodies and the only accredited certification for community association management professionals around the world. It is a great source of pride and a strong testament to the strength and value of the CMCA credential.
An Exciting Career Path with A lot of Potential
Life as a community association manager can vary day-to-day. Managers work closely with residents and Board members, make site visits to the community, hire and supervise vendors, interact with community leaders, and so much more. Not only do you earn a decent living, but you’re constantly learning new things and meeting interesting people from all walks of life. The odds of becoming bored on the job are slim—there are just too many different and interesting things to do!
Becoming a Certified Manager of Community Associations is not merely a designation; it can lead to the career journey of a lifetime. It elevates your credibility as a community association manager and makes employers more confident in hiring you. Finally, it offers you a wealth of opportunity, stability, and growth potential in an exciting career that currently shows no sign of slowing down.
Privacy and Data Security is the body of law that addresses how an organization can collect, handle, and use personally identifiable information and how that information needs to be protected.
Community Associations quite often have and maintain the names, addresses, and financial information of their residents and homeowners. Many criminal groups find this kind of information valuable for identity theft. Such groups often encrypt the data so the Community Association cannot access it to gain leverage and force an organization to pay a “ransom” for its return. Because of this and in reaction to how much sensitive information is held on everyday people in the broader economy, all fifty states have laws on the books that require most organizations to disclose when an unauthorized party has accessed the information. Community Associations—just like any other North Carolina organization—always must act reasonably when the organization makes decisions to do something with personal information or risk negligence lawsuits and class actions.
Unfortunately, North Carolina does not provide statutory guidance on how Community Associations can act reasonably with respect to residents’ personal data, but the federal government has provided frameworks that it recommends. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has published a Privacy Framework and a Cybersecurity Framework that, when followed, allow organizations to identify the data they have, protect that information, control and manage the data, govern the data with set rules within the organization, communicate the roles of each member of the organization, detect malicious or unauthorized activity, respond when an incident occurs, and recover from the incident.
There are a number of practical steps that organizations can take that can avoid or reduce the severity of common compliance pitfalls. The first is to review vendor contracts regularly—at least once a year—to make sure that they reflect an organization’s risk tolerance. Often, a trusted service provider or another vendor can have a breach that impacts the privacy and security of the data entrusted to a Community Association. Without contractual protections, the organization might incur significant costs remediating the problem with little legal recourse to have those costs covered by the party at fault.
Additionally, encrypting data, which is a mathematical process to transform data from readable text to nonsense and back again when a code (called a key) is used, can be an important tool in the compliance toolbox for Community Associations. Under North Carolina law—and the law of many other states—a breach only triggers reporting obligations when the information that was stolen was also unencrypted or when the encryption key was stolen with the data. This is not a silver bullet but, encryption is a practical technology that will be an important part of any compliance strategy.
Cyber insurance can also be an effective means of covering risk. However, insurance is not as simple as buying a policy and calling it a day. Insurers are increasingly raising premiums and lowering caps on organizations that do not take a proactive approach to mitigate privacy and security risks. So while insurance can act as a hedge against devastating effects, it should not be seen as a substitute for a compliance strategy.
We also recommend getting community input on the Community Association’s Privacy and Data Security efforts. Community Associations are necessarily accountable to their residents and homeowners, so understanding stakeholders’ risk tolerance can inform the leadership on how to move forward with a compliance strategy. The laws at issue obviously do not change based on the community’s sentiments, but discussing the matter at an annual meeting can be a good way to communicate what expectations the stakeholders in your community have of leadership.
Challenges and risks of liability and unmet stakeholder expectations are everywhere for Community Associations that do not take a proactive approach to the Privacy and Data Security of their residents’ and homeowners’ information.
The first and second coronavirus jabs included a number of mild side effects. A COVID-19 booster could have similar effects and people may need to plan their workweek accordingly.
More than 173 million Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and nearly 62% have received at least one jab, according to the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker. In a mid-August press conference, the White House outlined a booster shot rollout program planned to start in late September. As companies bring employees back to the office, an increasing number of organizations are announcing vaccine mandates for workers. So, what systems are employers using to securely log and track employee health data and how will boosters fit into the office reentry equation?
COVID-19 boosters and vaccine mandates
After more than a year of remote work, companies have started to bring employees back to the traditional office; albeit with varying degrees of enthusiasm. However, surging coronavirus cases around the country spurred by the more contagious delta variant is complicating office reentry timelines.
“The COVID pandemic is incredibly fluid and businesses need to be able to quickly implement changes in a timely manner,” said Blake McConnell, SVP of employee workflow products at ServiceNow.
At the same time, companies are crafting new office policies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in-house including inoculation mandates. Amid the sugaring cases and uncertainty surrounding the delta variant, employers have shifted their workforce policies as the public health situation unfolds. While employer conversations around vaccine boosters are still in their “early days” for many of ServiceNow’s customers, McConnell said these ideas are “top of mind.”
“The priority for many of our customers right now is determining vaccine policies and implementing the right technology to support these policies. Many organizations mandating vaccines are also anticipating the need to track boosters,” he continued.
At the moment, McConnell said companies tracking workforces vaccination as part of a larger in-house requirement is “becoming more and more common,” and detailed some of the tech used to track proof of vaccinations, including ServiceNow’s Vaccination Status app where employees can submit their vaccination status as well as new support for logging boosters.
“Tracking proof of vaccination is only one piece of the puzzle for companies looking to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on-site,” McConnell said. “They also need to consider other technology, policies and strategies as they safely reopen offices and plan for hybrid work.”
As an example, McConnell discussed health screening apps to ensure employees “meet workplace entry requirements,” as well as contact tracing capabilities, solutions to manage and reserve workspaces, schedule cleaning and manage traffic flows.
COVID-19 booster side effects and time off
Aside from drafting policies to track inoculations, employers will also need to consider contingency planning related to COVID-19 boosters and potential side effects employees experience. Similar to other inoculations, there are a number of potential side effects related to COVID-19 vaccination. These include pain, swelling and redness on the arm jabbed as well as fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea, according to the CDC.
“Most of the time these are mild to moderate symptoms, occur within the first 3 days of vaccination and resolve within 1 to 3 days of onset. These are found more commonly after [the] second dose and with younger people under the age of 55,” said Teresa Bartlett, MD, senior medical officer at Sedgwick.
Compared to the initial inoculations, Bartlett said the booster side effects are “anticipated to be similar to the second shot of the vaccine.”
Due to these side effects, some people may need to take time off from work and plan to make arrangements accordingly. Proactive planning ahead of a booster could help employees burn through paid time off.
“My best advice is to get vaccinated or the booster either at a time leading up to a weekend or when you have a few days off. Some people do not have any side effects at all or merely experience a little fatigue,” Bartlett said.
In recent months, a number of companies have helped employees with vaccination by providing information about the jabs, hosting events to inoculate staff and more. Some companies have also provided employees with paid time off to help with recovery and scheduling following vaccination.
Similarly, Bartlett said companies provide employees time to get their boosters as well as time to recover post-vaccination to help their employees.
“Asking employees to plan toward the end of their workweek and working with the employees to ensure not everyone goes at the same time to be vaccinated is a good strategy especially for health and essential workers,” she continued.
Booster vaccine mandates?
Some industries and employers are mandating vaccinations and setting deadlines for employee compliance, Bartlett explained, and given the rise variants, she said it is a “good idea” to protect workers with “some level of antibody response,” although this will depend on the “industry segment and amount of public interaction.”
“There may come a time when the variants will not respond to the vaccines and at that point, employers will have to rethink their positions,” Bartlett continued.
A number of companies, unions and other organizations have announced vaccine mandates or their support for these policies. On Aug. 23, the Pfizer vaccine became the first COVID-19 vaccination with full FDA approval and more employer vaccine mandates could follow the announcement. But will companies implement similar mandates regarding fall boosters for in-house employees?
“It is expected that eventually [companies] will also mandate the booster just as many do today with the flu vaccine in the health care industry,” Bartlett said. “There is reputational risk at stake for some employers especially in the health care industry where they are not only responsible for the health and safety of their workforce but also the patients they serve.”
The Board of Commissioners and staff of Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB) are deeply saddened to see so many of our credentialed professional managers and the communities they serve, impacted once again by a natural disaster of historic proportions. We have profound respect for the commitment each of you in the path of Hurricane Ida have demonstrated in recent days to your communities, and will continue to demonstrate as you begin a painful process of recovery.
Our thoughts are with you and the residents who rely on you to provide steady, focused leadership. Homes are destroyed, power outages are extraordinarily widespread, movement is limited, and daily life will not return to normal for a very long time. And, unfortunately, as the storm moves deeper inland its impact will continue to be felt as torrential rains trigger massive flooding.
We are reminded of, and grateful for, the vast team of first responders who have stepped up in response to the hurricane as soon as conditions permitted and continue to work tirelessly against one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the United States.
Please stay safe. We wish your communities a quick and full recovery.
Like most people at work and in their personal lives, you probably spend many hours a day conversing with others informally or in meetings, face-to-face interactions, telephone calls, and so forth. These conversations can either strengthen or weaken work and other interpersonal relationships, including ties to friends and loved ones.
Listening lies at the heart of just about everything we do with people. The average person spends about 50 percent more time listening than speaking. In fact, the typical person listens about a book’s worth a day.
The cost of ineffective listening is most clear in your relationships. Poor work relationships can be disastrous to one’s career, while strong work relationships boost one’s career.
If you want to practice your listening skills so you can build strong relationships at work and at home, take note of the following do’s and don’ts of great listening from Listen Up or Lose Out by Robert Bolton:
8 DO’S & DON’TS OF GREAT LISTENING SKILLS
❌ Don’t ignore trouble spots in the talking-listening process. Trouble spots in the talking–listening process make it vulnerable to miscommunication. Language is imprecise. Talking conveys only an approximation of what we mean. Any miscommunication can likely be traced four common impediments:
People often assume they perceive a situation objectively when, in fact, they often are reacting to it and thus may misunderstand it and speak inaccurately about it.
To speak meaningfully to another person, you must translate your thoughts and/or feelings into words—a process called encoding.
We ad-lib our way through most conversations, so when we talk, we’re usually winging it.
It can be challenging to read the nonverbals of whoever is speaking to you.
Listening is educated guesswork. And we’re seldom aware that miscommunication has occurred until faced with the resulting damage.
✔️ Do identify your listening missteps. People often turn what should be a listening situation into a speaking situation. And when they reply instead of listening, they often use one of 6 common communication missteps: disagreeing/agreeing, criticizing, questioning, advising, reassuring, or diverting. Your ability to recognize your one or two most often used listening missteps is an important first step toward eliminating those that you over-rely on and thereby greatly improving your listening.
✔️ Do reduce major missteps. Once you know your listening missteps, you must practice replacing the misstep with good listening. It’s important to identify and decrease your reliance on missteps that have been damaging your listening effectiveness. But be kind to yourself as you practice because ridding yourself of a given misstep will often take four stages.
First, you’ll notice your misstep after it has already occurred. Then, you’ll realize it as the words come out of your mouth. Next, you’ll reach an understanding of your misstep that allows you to consciously refrain from uttering it. Finally, you’ll be free of the misstep as you’ve created a habit of much better listening!
✔️ Do practiceSkill-Based Listening. Right now, you probably engage in ordinary listening. Great listeners practice skill-based listening, which means they use a set of skills to accurately understand the speaker’s thoughts and feelings from the speaker’s point of view and restate the essence of the speaker’s message until the speaker has fully expressed the point he or she is making. (Whew, we’re out of breath…develop these skills by reading Listen Up or Lose Out)
❌ Don’t forget to wait your turn. Knowing when to listen and when to speak is central to making your interactions more focused and productive. Use the communication skill selection question, which you can use to guide you into making good decisions about when to listen and when to speak. At the beginning of each conversation (and at key junctures during the interaction), ask yourself the communication skill selection question: “Whose need to talk is greater?” When the other person has the greater need to talk, you listen.
✔️ Do focus your attention. Good listeners focus their undivided attention on the speaker—giving him their full postural alignment, mental concentration, and emotional responsiveness. This skill, known as attending, is the body language of listening. Also use the companion skill of using encouragers—one- to three-word statements or empathic sounds like “Mm-hmm” that enable a listener to participate audibly in the conversation without distracting or interrupting the speaker.
❌ Don’t neglect your ability to ask questions. Asking well-targeted questions can be immensely important in one’s business as well as personal life. Robert and Dorothy Bolton share five guidelines for the process of asking questions productively in Listen Up or Lose Out.
✔️ Do create and sequence productive questions. It’s not enough to know how to answer well-targeted questions. You must also sequence your questions productively. How you phrase a question can have a significant impact on the usefulness of the responses you get.
Now that you know the do’s and don’ts of great listening, it’s time to get strategic. Create a plan for how you’ll practice your listening skills with your coworkers, boss, family, and friends.
Use Listen Up or Lose Out as a guide and let us know how your relationships improve by working on this one, simple skill in the comments!
By Madeline Hay, CAMICB Manager of Exam Administration
Over the past 25 years, the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) credential has been a catalyst in establishing community association management as a discrete profession. The common interest community housing model exists around the world and there has been consistent interest in the CMCA credential, the educational pathways to achieve the credential and the continuing education requirement to maintain the credential. Passing the CMCA examination and maintaining the standards of the CMCA certification is proof that a manager is knowledgeable, ethical and professional. CMCA-certified managers have the skills to safeguard the assets of homeowners’ associations, giving homeowners peace of mind and protecting home values across the globe.
We, at the Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB), are incredibly proud that the CMCA credential is the only international certification for managers that is accredited by the US-based National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and the globally recognized ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB). This dual accreditation underscores the strength and integrity of the CMCA credential. As we continue to celebrate our 25th anniversary year, we are reminded of our number one priority: maintaining, updating and validating the CMCA examination.
The process we use is rigorous, systematic and in strict compliance with best practices in the credentialing industry. A crucial step in this process is completing a job analysis to examine the current state of community association management – the responsibilities of a professional manager and the knowledge and skills required to fulfill those responsibilities. We carry out this process approximately every five years to provide a benchmark for updating the CMCA exam. Our next job analysis cycle begins this year, concluding in 2022.
The job analysis approach we use involves collecting and aggregating information and insights from job incumbents and occupational experts to determine the content specifications for the CMCA exam. This process is illustrated in the graphic below. A significant component of the process is an electronic survey sent to thousands of association management professionals worldwide to gather information about their job duties and requirements. The survey results will be reviewed with the pool of subject matter experts comprising the CAMICB Exam Development Committee to obtain their input and judgments regarding current trends in the profession and the importance of the knowledge for competent performance in the field.
As the CMCA credential has grown internationally, this upcoming study will build on that growth. Joseph Caramagno, MA, who leads the survey process and analysis and is a Senior Research Scientist for Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO), CAMICB’s test development partner said, “While the job analysis survey has taken a global approach in the past, we’re making changes to the process to reach even more managers working around the world.” Caramagno explained, “The focus for this survey cycle is to fully understand, at a global level, the essential tasks and duties that comprise a manager’s day-to-day work and what they must know to carry out those duties effectively. Additionally, this input will help shape our understanding of the profession.”
The survey will be available to managers all over the world in the second quarter of 2022, and managers at all levels of experience must participate to ensure we have broad representation and an accurate view of the profession.
Said Chair of the CAMICB Board of Commissioners, Drew Mulhare, CMCA, LSM, PCAM, “This process is a critical component to maintaining and validating the exam as the results guide the development of a new CMCA exam blueprint, which assures we are testing what we need to be testing. In addition, this comprehensive survey will help us emerge with a clear vision of what the field of association management around the world is today, how it has changed over the last five years, and what the minimum requirements for certification are when we take that global perspective.”