We have the privilege of representing many condominium corporations throughout the Greater Toronto Area and Ontario at large. Many condominium law firms, management companies and service providers have this privilege.
Our communities, cities, and province rightfully pride themselves on having a diverse and multicultural population. This is also very much the case when it comes to the condominium corporations, board members and unit owners. More particularly, the make-up of condominium corporations throughout the province, including their board members who typically instruct the manager, lawyer, accountant, engineer etc., are very often multicultural and diverse.
While diversity should be championed and valued, it can also bring with it certain challenges, risks, and concerns. By way of example, the manner in which a manager engages with a particular board or board member in one culture/community can be applauded as taking the initiative, forthcoming, and proactive but in another this same conduct could be frowned upon and construed as disrespectful and aggressive. There is no one size fits all approach but it is advisable to avoid making assumptions, ask relevant and respectful questions (even if it takes you out of your comfort zone), and get to know your community.
Training programs are available to assist you in understanding unconscious biases and help prevent making insensitive remarks and avoid negative behaviours. The best approach if you are ever in doubt is be kind. The goal in a condominium setting is to achieve a successful outcome – an agreeable board meeting, a pleasant interaction with the condo manager or resident, exchange a cheerful greeting with the concierge or other contractor.
It is important to know your condominium board members and residents and continually keep yourself informed and aware of those changes that may occur from one condo corporation to the next. Being able to embrace and commit to diversity, inclusion and cultural competence will only bring about positive change and will work towards better serving our communities.