Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday Five: Meetings Meetings

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.

Like my pal RM, I've been a part of all three, but agree that a and b are my most frequent feelings about meetings.

2. Do you like some amount of community building or conversation, or are you all business?

Depends upon the meeting. If it is a church-related meeting, I like some Bible study at the beginning. Some casual banter at the beginning is nice, but I don't like it to go on for too long. It's hard enough to meet time deadlines without extended socializing. Sometimes I'll have some goodies there "for conversation time when we've wrapped up." Not too Macchiavellian, are I?

3. How do you feel about leading meetings? Share any particular strengths or weaknesses you have in this area.

I'm fine with leading meetings. I'm big on agendas. In the past, I told employees if they couldn't express the idea in a couple of minutes, they hadn't thought about it long enough - I'd then ask them to wait until they could keep it to two minutes. I can't do that quite so harshly anymore...but I do like to move things along (in a pastoral way, of course!) I'm sure some folks find me too directive in meetings, and they're probably right.

4. Have you ever participated in a virtual meeting? (conference call, IM, chat, etc.) What do you think of this format?

In my past life, I sat in on a zillion conference calls. During those conference calls, I also got a lot of other ditzy paperwork chores done (and I must admit I occasionally played a game of solitaire.) Given the time and money of meet-ups, particularly when you're part of an across-the-country organization, it makes a lot of sense, and I do like the idea of meeting in my jammies, but I don't concentrate quite as hard as when I'm in the room.

5. Share a story of a memorable meeting you attended.

Presided over an extraordinarily difficult meeting when I was Senior Warden (senior lay person) and our pastor was being attacked by a small group of members. Nobody survived that meeting without wounds. Nevertheless, it was necessary to bring the accusations out into the open, where they could be addressed and put into proper perspective, and ultimately dismissed. Never fun to lance a boil, is it? But it's better than letting it fester.

No comments: