I’ve had some time to think this past week and have a lot swirling in my head. I’m not feeling particularly inspired to write however, perhaps because a head cold is clouding my brain.
So for today, I’ll just post this reminder to turn off that internal (or external) voice of judgment that might be telling you who or what you should be or do or say, and instead to just be true to yourself — and ever grateful for those who matter in your life.
Someone posted this cartoon on Facebook recently and it made me laugh. And groan. Because we’ve all been there. Victims of meetings that got called because someone didn’t know how else to move a project forward or solve a problem.
I saw a statistic recently that said there are 11 million meetings in the U.S. every day. Who know if that’s accurate or how it was calculated… but most professionals report spending 50% of their time in meetings and say that half of that time is wasted. Yikes! That’s a lot of lost time and money. There are a lot of bad meetings out there. Meetings with no preparation. Meetings without agendas. Meetings that don’t respect the time of the participants and don’t have a clear purpose. Meetings where half the people in the room (or more!) are distracted by their electronic devices or sit passively watching bad Powerpoint slides.
Some weeks I feel like I spend all my time in meetings, and it’s enough to make me really appreciate the good ones. As meeting participants we need to get better at demanding more from our meeting organizers. We need to start asking:
- Why am I being invited to this meeting?
- What are the objectives of the meeting?
- Will we be getting an agenda in advance?
- What preparation is expected of me?
And for those of us who organize meetings, we need to commit the time to preparing for the meeting, to creating thoughtful agendas with clear desired outcomes, shortening our meetings and actively seeking ways to engage the participants. We need to invite people to our meetings in a way that says “Come, you are welcome!” and makes them eager to participate. We need to actively manage our meetings to ensure that the desired outcomes are met and make sure the appropriate follow-up occurs.
I saved a quote called “How Matters” recently that applies well to organizing meetings, but don’t know who wrote it (if you do, please let me know in the comments).
Who you invite matters.
And how you invite them.
How you come together matters.
What you talk about and how you talk about it matters.
Where and how you start matters,
As does where you go next,
And how and where you end.
Perhaps more than we think.
What do you do to maximize your “how” of running meetings? Please leave your comments below…
I read a thought-provoking post on the subject of busyness recently that got me reflecting about this subject a bit.
Everyone seems to be “busy” lately. In fact, it seems to have become the “go to” answer to the perennial question “how are you?” “Busy,” we say, to anyone that will listen. We’re really, really, busy — crazy busy in fact. We’ve got lists, demands, obligations, expectations and we’re never done with them. We’re important because we’re busy. And we’re needed. We’re so busy that we’re stressed and tired and never have enough hours in the day to get everything done.
I don’t know that many of us have thought about the impact of this one word on ourselves and on others. In addition to projecting self-importance, “busy” accomplishes a number of things. “Busy” sets up a wall between people that’s hard to get past. When someone tells you they are “busy” it sends the message not so subtly “don’t ask me for anything” or “don’t make any demands on me.” “Busy” keeps friends and colleagues at arm’s length and says “I really can’t be here for you right now.” It minimizes the opportunity for connection. “Busy” is also a bit dismissive and vague. How different would it be to say,”I’m great and I’m working on some really interesting projects right now.” That’s a conversation starter — whereas “busy” tends to block further inquiry.
To be sure, every one of us has times when we’re trying to finish a project or meet a critical deadline and we’re legitimately flat out. But you know what? With all of the busyness, each and every one of us finds the time for what is most important in our lives.
I have a lot of projects and priorities. I have lists of my own that I will never finish. But I don’t want to be that person that’s too busy to take the time to really connect or to pause for the things that matter.
I invite you to join me in consciously letting go of “busy” as a lifestyle choice.
It’s that time. Everyone’s starting to look back, look forward, and make resolutions to do things differently in the coming year.
What if you tried something different this year? Instead of trying to DO things differently, what if you decided to BE differently in the coming year.
What is you cultivated your inner curiosity? What might that look like?
Maybe your morning walk would take you to the end of a street that you’ve never explored. Maybe you’d explore a new parcel of open space in a neighboring town or a different part of the state.
Maybe you’d engage someone in your community or in your neighborhood in a different way. What if you took the time to have coffee with that local developer you’re at odds with politically? What if you knocked on the door of a new neighbor’s house and got to know them? What new doors might open for you?
Maybe you’d take the time to introduce a child to the natural world – letting their unconstrained wonder for wild things rub off on you. Or take a class and learn something new for yourself…
Maybe you’d talk less and listen more, really trying to appreciate someone else’s perspective on a situation that you thought you understood already. And maybe you’d ask more questions – why, what if, how come – instead of being so sure of the answers.
Or maybe you’d take a new adventure to somewhere you’ve always been curious about?
How can you be more insatiably curious in (and about!) 2013?