This week's Friday Five over at the RevGals is all about meetings:
reverendmother writes: 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.
I choose (a), with the mirror statement of course being, "but when they're bad, they're horrid."
2. Do you like some amount of community building or conversation, or are you all business?
I was once part of a monthly meeting that routinely started 15-20 minutes past the scheduled time as the men swapped stories about sports, building things, etc. It drove me silly. I don't mind a little conversation in the midst of the meeting, as it can build community. However, the total off-topic chatting should be left until the end, so that those who aren't part of it can just leave!
3. How do you feel about leading meetings? Share any particular strengths or weaknesses you have in this area.
I like to lead meetings -- especially larger-group brainstorming, visioning-type meetings. I think I'm relatively good at it, and I try to be respectful of people's time. The weakness or flip-side of that is that I might not give adequate time to a topic or a person because of the overall covenant to be done at a certain time.
Leading standing committee meetings isn't how I see my role in the congregation, and fortunately I don't have to do that!
4. Have you ever participated in a virtual meeting? (conference call, IM, chat, etc.) What do you think of this format?
I have participated in a number of conference calls. It's OK, and often necessary when dealing with a national board. There's so much value, though, in the face-to-face meeting that when possible it's my preference.
5. Share a story of a memorable meeting you attended.
The many, many occasions in which I would call home on my way home from a council meeting and say, "It went well -- we laughed, I mean, really laughed together. I like these people."
The first large-group meeting that I facilitated at the congregation happened about 2-years into my tenure here. In some ways I think it shifted how people saw me as a leader.
I recognize these are both positive meeting memories -- there are also the meetings from which I've come home and put on my walking shoes, or poured a very, very stiff drink.
Let me know what you think about meetings!