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  • The AGM disaster

    Posted by Kathleen French on October 19, 2022 at 11:55 pm

    Our AGM became a free for all for some owners, the president made no attempt to intervene to stop the comments. One owner in our complex has a tendency to irritate most people. She was asking questions at the meeting that were aimed at annoying the board and other owners. The president took no initiative to politely ask her to end her questioning, however, one owner (a board member’s spouse) asked this person why she wouldn’t be quiet. After some bickering back and forth, with no action from the president, this same owner said “Why don’t you leave?” The owner she said this to asked the president if that was what he wanted. He gave no reply.

    As she was leaving most of the owners displayed childish behaviour by applauding, causing the person who was leaving to cry. Through all this the president made no attempt to stop this outburst and did not advise that it was wrong to behave in such a manner.

    There has been no attempt by the president to apologize to the wronged owner.

    It’s unfair that such a person can be president of the board. Also, we no longer have a management company so this same person is regulating management.

    Terry Gibson replied 1 year, 1 month ago 5 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
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  • David Minifie

    October 20, 2022 at 11:25 am

    Kathleen, the situation that you describe is clearly most unfortunate and inappropriate in my opinion.

    The president, or chair, of the meeting has general managerial responsibilities in addition to leadership responsibilities, which includes controlling the meeting. Generally speaking, all comments at the AGM should be addressed to the chair of the meeting.

    While the chair may plan for things to go smoothly, it is important that the chair also plan for the unexpected and have a plan to deal with disruptions. While such a plan may not go as hoped, it certainly should help mitigate unfortunate situations such as that which you describe.

    Most certainly there should have been an apology to the group for the disruption and maybe a reminder of appropriate and respectful behaviors (civility) in meetings, conversation and written communications.

    I would hope that the chair in question simply was taken by surprise and was not able to personally catch up to what should have been an appropriate intervention. The other possibility might be that the chair was really was unqualified to fill that position.

    Most unfortunate. …./David

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  • Mark Hambridge

    October 20, 2022 at 1:01 pm

    An AGM needs to be run formally, following an agenda and rules of procedure. Departures from the agenda should not be allowed. An AGM and board meetings need to be run by people familiar with and trained in meeting management. This can be done very formally, in a large organisation, or less so in a small condominium – but the basic principles must apply. There are several places to learn meeting management. I learned and practised in Toastmasters many years ago. It is a good place to start.

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  • Pat Knoll

    October 31, 2022 at 5:59 pm

    David and Mark have both identified correct responses re these unfortunate events .

    AGM rules should specifically oblige all members to treat each other with courtesy and respect .

    In turn , this should be enforced by the Chair. Members may disagree or hold different views on

    various subjects , however , civility must always prevail . At the outset of each AGM a set of meeting

    rules should be adopted that will be strictly applied in this respect .

    For an example of such rules ( available on this forum) search and see:

    : Alternate AGM rules of procedure ( Rule 14 ) .

    Pat Knoll RP

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  • Terry Gibson

    November 1, 2022 at 11:26 am

    The Board has a responsibility to hold a safe and effective meeting.

    If the Chair is incapable of acting as chair of the meeting, and this is not uncommon, consider hiring an independent facilitator/chair. It is worth the money to ensure all parties are respectful and feel heard.

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