Friday, September 14, 2007

a meeting? meetings???

Today's Friday five is about meetings, which I certainly have STRONG feelings about...
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) Meetings have three requirements for me: chocolate, an agenda, and time limit. Chocolate is negotiable, but the other two are essential....

2. Do you like some amount of community building or conversation, or are you all business? I like community building, especially in church meetings. All of our commissions begin with a ritual that the chair is either prayer, a reflection, sharing...yesterday, at a Mass conference task force meeting, we sang a song. It reminds us of why we are doing the work we are doing....

3. How do you feel about leading meetings? Share any particular strengths or weaknesses you have in this area. Even though I don't LOVE meetings, I do like to lead them. HOW weird is that? I just think that people volunteer precious time in the church, so if I am responsible for convening and facilitating a meeting, it should be an experience, and not drudgery...and respectful of people's time and energy and gifts.

4. Have you ever participated in a virtual meeting? (conference call, IM, chat, etc.) What do you think of this format? Conference calls. When living in NC, I was on a board of a state-wide non-profit, so every meeting there were people that couldn't be there in person, so we always had the option of being present by phone. Last winter/spring I participated in the planning of the worship for Christian Peace Witness
at the National Cathedral in DC, and that whole event/march was planned on conference calls, because the leadership was gleaned from across the country. At first it was a little weird, b/c you have to keep identifying yourself, but work was efficient.

5. Share a story of a memorable meeting you attended. This week we had our first coordinating council meeting for the program year. My colleague led an amazing reflection which invited people to share where they experienced the holy this summer. People were amazingly sincere, vulnerable, and reflective. It was a spiritually moving experience in the midst of going over budgets, scheduling, etc. I found it very moving and energizing and bonding.


DogBlogger said...

It's so rare that an exercise like the one in #5 actually works! How cool!

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

I'm on a worship committee (though I got flu and missed the last meeting) and I like a round table kind of chat, with coffee. Not leader and bus seats, no way. Talking things out with people is great, and waffling away from the agenda is necessary too. I like to affirm our new minister and also try to restrain myself from trying to change the whole world in an instant.

karlajean said...

oh yes, I forgot coffee. I also agree with no bus seats and bus driver...note I said "convene" and "facilitate" and I love the phrase, "waffling" away from the agend. I don't mind the waffling, if there is an agenda to waffle away from and back to!

PeaceBang said...

I like meetings with a clear, timed agenda, a start-and-end on time commitment. I like to start with a reading, but not a check-in because those can get really lengthy, and what if someone is going through something really hairy? Are you supposed to take 30 minutes of your meeting to address it? I think the church makes a mistake in trying to combine pastoral visits with meetings.

We laugh a lot at our meetings. That's my #1 reason to like them. I like to sit and watch my people laugh and work effectively together. I used to hate meetings. Now I have to say I really look forward to many of them. Am I nuts, or what?