Don't Just Come to Meetings...Show Up!
You know, I have sat through a ton of meetings and I'm writing this from one of our conference tables at the KidzMatter office and I've thought about not just meetings I've had at my office, but all those years on church staff sitting in staff meetings and all of those church board meetings. As I look back on meetings, there's a book titled Death by Meetings, and I think it's a great title because how many of us have felt that like, my death is going to come by meetings. And as I look back on a lot of my career in ministry life, I have to tell you a lot of meetings don't have fond memories. I think at times being bored, being disengaged and until I learned a secret, now I'm not saying I love meetings, I actually hate meetings.
I don't like having meetings for more than 30 minutes. If I've got to talk to you for more than 30 minutes, we've got real problems. Right. I think a lot of times a lot more gets said than done in meetings because we waste so much time. I'm not saying I love meetings, but I have learned a little secret in meetings. If you find yourself bored in meetings, if you find yourself disengaged, here's what you need to do. You need to really show up to that meeting.
I think of all these staff meetings I used to attend at my church and board meetings, I would sit there and multitask on my laptop and I would catch up on my email and do Facebook and work on this, this and this, and in multitasking and not really being there. Guess what? I was bored and I was disengaged. But when I chose to actually show up to those meetings, when I chose to actually leave my computer in my office and leave my phone on my desk and to really engage in conversations, even if the conversations don't have anything to do with what I'm doing, guess what? All of a sudden they got a lot more interesting and all of a sudden I became a lot more valuable to the people around that table and to my boss or my supervisor when I chose to actually show up. I want to encourage you to do this today. The next time you're in a meeting, actually be there, and I'm not talking about just physical proximity, I'm sitting around the table, but actually show up. Leave your computer at your desk. Leave your phone at your desk.
If somebody actually has to get ahold of you because there's an emergency, they'll find you. You can survive without your phone for an hour, right? Be there if they're talking about something totally unrelated to you. Jump in on the conversation, give some ideas and feedback. I'm going to tell you what, that is a way to gain instant credibility, not only with your coworkers, but with your boss. When you actually show up and you participate in discussions that have nothing to do with your area of ministry or your responsibilities, just simply being there will help you avoid death by meetings. Actually show up, choose to be engaged, and it will make a huge, huge difference for you.
Your #1 fan,