Mind the Gap: Tray


Shirley is a successful, focused and driven 65-year-old REALTOR® serving as president of her local association. Bill, a 25-year-old REALTOR®, has been recruited by Shirley to chair the local YPN chapter. Bill is excited about the opportunity and fires up Facebook and Twitter to get ideas on how to improve networking and educational opportunities at the local REALTOR® Association.

Shirley eventually hears about the live discussion and concludes that decisions are being made outside of a traditional committee meeting and without control of the board. She immediately calls Bill and chastises him about protocol. What she doesn’t realize is that at the same time she is extinguishing any interest Bill has to continue in his new role as YPN Chair.

You are a 41-year old REALTOR® serving as president-elect for the local REALTOR® association and hope to find a resolution to this conflict. How do you get these members back on the right path?

Did you Mind the Gap correctly? See what Tray Bates, NARLA 2012 Graduate, has to say:


As a member of Generation X, I find myself straddled between these two generations in conflict. I can understand a Boomer’s tendency to be strong willed and their need to attend face-to-face meetings. I also understand the power of social media and can adapt to changes. I recognize the desire to seek fresh ideas so that the association will be attractive to our members in the near future. I would like to help both parties understand each perspective because having a cohesive, diverse and talented group of leaders will benefit all our members.

While Shirley would prefer to hold meetings and have the committee vet ideas in a controlled environment, she needs to recognize she is dealing with someone who doesn’t mind being mentored but finds a committee meeting too structured and slow. Bill rather enjoys a collaborative environment through social media. Shirley needs to recognize this as an opportunity for broader membership involvement and a way to bring fresh ideas into the association.

Bill would prefer to be left alone but also seeks approval and would better respond to a positive nudge in the right direction rather than a strong dose of criticism. This would help to get Bill going the desired direction while keeping his enthusiasm and confidence intact. Bill also needs to understand that bringing the discussion back to the committee process after brainstorming ideas on social media will help enrich the committee involvement.

I would share each perspective with the other party to help them gain understanding of the different viewpoints and encourage them to take these into consideration before overreacting to similar situations in the future.