by Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM / Published January 2016
Yes, CAMs are committed to their careers intellectually, socially, physically, and emotionally. In Part One (see the December 2015 FLCAJ issue), we covered two of our BEST areas for physical and emotional success—boundaries and emotional levels of development. Here we will review the other two—stress and team support.
Here is a little quiz to see what stresses you out! All Stressed Up and No Way Out? Oh, yes, there is!
My job causes me frustration or fatigue or stress when (check as many as apply):
___ I have to make the conservative decision
___ Things move too slowly
___ Activities are without a goal
___ I can’t be in charge
___ I have to take orders
___ I have to be nice and can’t argue
___ I have to explain everything in detail
___ I have to wait on others to make a decision
___ Talkers don’t produce
If you scored highest here, try a physical de-stressing activity, such as working out, going for a jog, or manual labor like yard work or vigorous housework.
___ Things aren’t fun
___ I can’t feel important
___ I have to work in an isolated office
___ I can’t talk and tell my stories
___ I have to sit still and be quiet
___ I have to stay on schedule; follow a boring routine
___ I can’t meet new people every day
___ I have to do repetitive tasks
___ I’m ignored
If you scored highest here, try a social de-stressing activity, such as dinner out with friends, inviting the neighbors to a weekend bbq, or “happy” hour socializing with friends!
___ Things move too fast
___ I have to tell people “no”
___ I have to correct others
___ I’m being pushed
___ I have to make fast decisions without others’ input
___ I am interrupted or my routine is disturbed
___ I hear others argue
___ I have to speak in public
___ There are misunderstandings
If you scored highest in the third column, try a zone out de-stressing activity, such as a quick nap after work, staring at the television, mindless Internet surfing, or reading for pleasure.
___ I make a mistake
___ I don’t have time to think; ask questions
___ I am not taken seriously
___ Others make unnecessary mistakes
___ I don’t have time to work out the details
___ I have to be the PR person; smile a lot
___ I can’t complete my “to-do” list
___ Others think mediocre work is okay
___ I’m criticized
If you scored highest in the fourth column, try a cognitive de-stressing activity, such as balancing the checkbook, organizing the garage or a drawer or your desk, fixing/repairing something broken, or reading for learning or information.
Conversations involve both listening and talking. That means communicating is the giving and receiving of information with understanding.
The topic of listening is often brought up in conversations of frustration or anger. “You didn’t listen to me!” “You never listen to what I say.” “Did you hear me? I told you three times.” Not listening carefully could be the source of many instances of conflict. But sometimes listening really isn’t very important, like television commercials.
So might there be different levels of listening or need for or opportunities to listen? Yes. There is different listening required for different environments. Listening can be categorized into five levels.
This type of listening is the highest, most involved level of listening. It demonstrates a form of respect. You are listening in order to learn; you’ll be able to explain what you heard/learned. It involves undivided attention; you are listening to understand not to be understood (or do the talking). True listening is being able to explain back what you just heard.
Examples could include:
Remember, it is not so much at what level the other person is listening to you as much as at what level are you listening. You are in the position of leadership, so it is your job to initiate the listening skill. The more you listen, the more the other person will eventually hear.
Casual conversation or chitchat—shallow depth of intimacy like in the elevator or grocery store line. “Good morning; how are you?” But we really don’t mean to indicate any interest in your well being. We would be shocked and feel trapped if someone actually answered that they were “terrible.”
Exchange facts—conversations at work or in the clubhouse often reflect this level. This could be facts about the weather, sports, politics, or common interest issues.
Exchange ideas—secure enough to tell others what we think. Moving beyond just facts; feel safe enough to give opinions; believe people are interested in and value our opinions, and we value theirs. This may reveal a person’s moral compass, religious or political beliefs, world view, value system, or character.
Exchange feelings—share how we feel on a wide range of issues with matching body language and voice inflections. Mad sounds and looks mad; happy sounds and looks happy.
Exchange hopes, dreams, fears, and failures—involves personal transparency; a sense of being totally known; the good and the bad. Others know strengths and character assets, but also our faults and deficiencies. No fear that the revelation of these fears and failures will be used as weapons against us.
The life of a community association manager is rewarding but also stressful. It can also be lonely. To be the best you can be, take care of yourself first.
Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM
Florida Cam Schools
Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM, guides managers, board members, and service providers in handling daily operations of their communities while at the same time dealing with different communication styles, difficult personalities, and conflict. Effective communication and efficient management are her goals. For more than 15 years, Barbieux has educated thousands of managers, directors, and service providers. She is your trainer for life! Barbieux is the author of Boardmanship, a columnist in the Florida Community Association Journal, and a member of the Regulatory Council for Community Association Managers. For more information, contact Betsy@FloridaCAMSchools.com, (352) 326-8365, or www.FloridaCAMSchools.com.