If you work for an association that covers a large geographical area – like a region of Ontario or all of Ontario– you’re going to have directors and chairpersons from far and wide.
As a staff liaison to committees, I always made it a point to travel to the hometown of my chairpersons. I would meet with them in their office, meet their administrative assistant who would be handling their calls and often be invited to their home and meet their family.
I found that doing this had multiple benefits; first of all, it gave me an appreciation for where they worked and lived and the people they spent a lot of time with. Those people could also put a face to my name and that helped us with our relationships since a lot of our communication was by telephone or email.
It also gave me a better understanding of what made them tick, their likes and dislikes, the things that were important to them. I found this went a long way to improving are working relationships and in some cases, after they left the board, we remained friends.
The more you know about a person, the better you understand and appreciate them, can only lead to more effective working relationships.
After all, our business is real estate but our strength is people.