Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday 5: Meetings, Meetings

Today's Friday Five is brought by Reverendmother on the subject of meetings, inspired no doubt by the reality of life in the PCUSA.

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've had too many meetings this week, as the autumn term gets under way, so am feeling less positive than I might...I guess "b" is my normal viewpoint. St M's is stuffed with able people with strong opinions on many things, so it follows that there is a plethora of committees, some happier than others. Sometimes it seems to me that their main impact is in soaking up the energy and enthusiasm of all those involved before they can actually do anything...and at such times, my favourite line is
"For God loved the world so much that he didn't send a committee...".
As you may have guessed from that, I've not been blessed with too many examples of "a". On the other hand, though "c" for cancellations can be a real gift if the diary is full and you are suddenly given an evening's grace, its probably not the best recipe for long term achievement.

2. Do you like some amount of community building or conversation, or are you all business?
I'm endlessly divertable (ENFP, remember) with a strong leaning towards community building at any opportunity, so really have to watch this. On the whole, if a meeting is needful then I prefer to try and concentrate on the job in hand, - though the best meetings are those where everyone likes each other enough to head to the pub afterwards..and the meeting is done and dusted well before closing time.

3. How do you feel about leading meetings? Share any particular strengths or weaknesses you have in this area.
I'm rather out of practice after 3 years of curacy,- specially given that my final pre ordination job was as Clerk to the Trustees of a local charity - plenty of minute taking, not much leading.
Currently, I'm working really hard at not taking over the leadership role from my lowlier seat...when there are topics that I care passionately about, it can be hard to behave with due discretion and deference to the Chair.

4. Have you ever participated in a virtual meeting? (conference call, IM, chat, etc.) What do you think of this format?
Not really...and I'd not be keen. I think faces and body language speak so loudly, it is really sad if they are excluded from the communication.

5. Share a story of a memorable meeting you attended.
Ooh....that would be the PCC meeting that happened in our sitting room 4 days after the Dufflepud was born. We had a big decision to make, so had deliberately arranged things so that I could be there come what may...and the new arrival slept and fed and fed and slept and improved the tenor of the evening no end.
I've had my share of memorably dreadful meetings too...the sort that start at 7.30, and end at around 11.00 pm, by which point you are voting enthusiastically for your own execution ... anything to make it stop.


jill said...

Thanks for the out-loud laugh! Great play.

Purechristianithink said...

I've noticed that meetings at which an infant is present seem to go better. Too bad I don't have one anymore.

DogBlogger said...

I'm totally with you on that last paragraph!