Friday, September 14, 2007

The "I Hate Meetings" Meme

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.

All of the above. It depends what group, the makeup of people, the tasks before us. But I never lose sleep over a cancelled meeting. I recognize that they're a necessary part of life...when they really are necessary. There have been a few lately that I've cancelled just because I didn't see that we had enough to talk about to make it worth people's while. Or consider the committee meeting I was at on Wednesday when we planned all our stuff between now and the end of the year, and then decided not to meet again until January. Less can be more.

2. Do you like some amount of community building or conversation, or are you all business? If conversation makes its way into the meeting, I don't stop it. I don't care. People have to spend their evening here, so go ahead and catch up...provided we aren't here until 9:00.

3. How do you feel about leading meetings? Share any particular strengths or weaknesses you have in this area. I do well if I have a written agenda in front of me. Meetings that are all like, "So...what else do we need to talk about?" grate on my nerves. But I'm fine with leading meetings. As a pastor, my philosophy is to have the committee chair or Consistory president or whomever actually lead the meeting and I contribute agenda items. I could do more to empower some of those leaders in that way.

4. Have you ever participated in a virtual meeting? (conference call, IM, chat, etc.) What do you think of this format? Do phone interviews count? That's all I got. If so, my ear gets pretty sweaty after a while and not being able to see people's reactions is a little unnerving. If 15 people on the other end are rolling their eyes at something I'm saying, I can't see it, which on the one hand is good because I don't feel demoralized, but I also can't adjust what I'm saying to explain it better or to otherwise respond to body language. Plus I just plain hate talking on the phone.

5. Share a story of a memorable meeting you attended. I didn't mind weekly staff meetings at one of my field placements in seminary. It was a larger church where seven of us would sit around a big table in the office, skim over the upcoming church schedule, but moreso make lots of jokes and then order Chinese food. Those weren't too bad.