On nearly every executive committee it seems that there is one member who is on a different page to the others; misses meetings and throws in suggestions later; doesn’t read the information sent around; agrees with a process or way forward at a meeting but then sends an email questioning parts of the process and suggesting alternatives; wants to revisit things already decided or wants to add more steps and detail just to be seen to have something to contribute; may actively stir trouble if things aren’t going their way; never includes an offer to do the work suggested etc. If an executive committee / owners corporation was a business where people were paid and had the time to go down every rabbit hole then these ‘risk’ averse members’ suggestions could be extremely useful. As that is generally not the case their suggestions, although on the surface look helpful, are often distracting and impractical.
So what do you do if this is happening? Firstly, don’t get diverted. Take your time to respond in a considered and respectful manner. Brushing up on communication and people skills would be worthwhile. A good response can cut down the distraction at its roots. For example explain that the decision has been made already – and with them in the loop at the time, point out it that others have considered the information in detail and are happy with the process, ask exactly where they got their information so it can be checked and evaluated, point out they have reneged upon what they agreed or ask them to justify their suggestions, ask if they are willing to implement their suggestions themselves or to gather owners support for spending or not spending funds. Point out that the decision process needs to be adhered to or the effort and time will become unmanageable. Putting the onus back on the individual will usually quieten them if they are just being thoughtless or difficult.