Part Two

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

_____ Total

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

_____ Total

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

_____ Total

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

_____ Total

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.

Team Support

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.

  • Non-listening—when a person deliberately chooses not to listen or hear any noise or conversation unre-
    lated to them; knowingly tuned or blocked out what is being said.
  • Passive listening—when conversation is of minimal importance; no need to remember anything or give
    a response; in one ear and out the other; for parties or socializing.
  • Limited listening—when you are doing the best you can to listen to a monologue conversation where you only have to give an occasional response. This would include listening at a lecture, sermon, or most staff meetings.
  • Selective listening—when you listen to get the big picture, the concepts, or the ideas in order to understand.
    You are listening for the bottom line information. You are going to be asked to respond or for your opinion.
  • True listening—when listening is involved; interactive. It conveys respect in that you are giving the talker your undivided attention. You are listening to learn about or learn from the other person. You are listening to understand; not to be understood. You are not waiting for them to stop talking so you can tell them your opinion. Instead, you are listening in order to find the next question to ask them so they will keep talking. This level of listening is empathetic and hears the feelings behind the words.

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:

  • Empathy; listening and relating to the feelings or emotions of the other
  • Providing feedback when asked
  • Continuing the conversation by asking questions rather than making statements
  • True listening is important because:
  • It shows esteem and respect for others
  • It takes time; giving time shows you value them
  • It develops higher levels of expectations, which people are more inclined to meet
  • It helps develop your understanding of that person

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

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, (352) 326-8365, or