Friday Five: Meetings, Meetings

Reverendmother at RevGalBlogPals must be “meeting-ed out!” Here’s this week’s Friday Five…

In honor of a couple of marathon meetings I attended this week:

1. What’s your view of meetings? Choose one or more, or make up your own: a) When they’re good, they’re good. I love the feeling of people working well together on a common goal. b) I don’t seek them out, but I recognize them as a necessary part of life. c) The only good meeting is a canceled meeting.
d) ALL of the above. Kind of on the order of a necessary evil if you want people to work together towards a common goal and not duplicate their efforts or not be unified in direction. Just please – no goofy ice breaking “tell everyone your favorite vacation spot” exercises. When I am on vacation from work, I don’t want you to follow me there!

2. Do you like some amount of community building or conversation, or are you all business?
It depends. If it is a church meeting, we are talking about an organism (the BODY of Christ) not an organization! An organism has systems and unity, but it also has weaker, hurting or less-trained or less-strong parts that need encouragement and back-up. If it is a business organization, then yes – – get to work and let me go. In any case, if you are not in a dictatorship and you need and want participants to “buy-in” you need to spend time talking and working through strategies and direction together.

3. How do you feel about leading meetings? Share any particular strengths or weaknesses you have in this area.
I can lead or not. But it is very hard to sit in a committee meeting, for instance, where the person in charge is not only not ready, they can’t remember what they did the last time.

4. Have you ever participated in a virtual meeting? (conference call, IM, chat, etc.) What do you think of this format?
I have them all the time for my on-line classes. If I already know the folks involved, it is fine. If we must “get acquainted” in order to then do business, it is sometimes not as productive as my phone bill (or Skype subscription) would like me to think! It is less expensive than a plane flight and hotels, though.

5. Share a story of a memorable meeting you attended.
It involved a boss whose accent was so bad we spent each meeting figuring out what she said and repeating it to each other.
Example: She wanted to know about the progress on the
“KEY-CHAIN POTE-SINK GAR-BAHGE DEES-POSE-ALL.” We sat around the table and she said it over and over. Finally. The light dawned… “OH! The kitchen pot sink garbage disposer!”
Every meeting, the entire meeting, was like that. The staff would listen, look at each other and whisper “What did she just say?” until someone with the “gift of interpretation” figured it out… Two years of my life with that. Oh my… (Wish I had read this book back then!)

What is your pet peeve about meetings?

When people cancel them or don’t show and don’t call me!!!!


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