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.
It really depends on the meeting: I guess I average out at 'b', but I have been in some really great ones, and then in some really excruciatingly bad ones too. Generally, when we're willing to be productive and no one's pushing their separate agenda too forcefully, meetings can be really good. But when we're too distracted by our own issues, they can just be mind numbingly terrible.
2. Do you like some amount of community building or conversation, or are you all business?
I do like some; in our large church, meetings serve a dual function: business and fellowship. But we usually try to get started on time and then reserve much of the chitchat for the after-meeting. That way everyone gets what they want.
3. How do you feel about leading meetings? Share any particular strengths or weaknesses you have in this area.
I don't enjoy it, and when I'm running the show, I tend to be very task-oriented. I am chairing a district committee this year, and I was so focused on the first meeting that I failed to pray, which is sort of embarrassing. Oh well.
4. Have you ever participated in a virtual meeting? (conference call, IM, chat, etc.) What do you think of this format?
I have; I'm taking a class online that has a weekly session online. The only problem is that since the system can't handle audio from all of us, then we're basically IMing all over each other. It's a little hard to keep the train of thought going.
5. Share a story of a memorable meeting you attended.
In my first appointment, it took a while for me to learn that the "real" meetings took place after the scheduled meeting, out in front of the church under an old tree. Decisions were overturned, money was spent, and plans were made apart from the recognized structure.
The most memorable meeting, though, was a couple of years ago when the pastor-parish relations committee wanted to create a fuss. I think the chair wanted me to move, but he didn't have any real reasons (except my essential girlness). Well, it came to pass that Ben was looking to move, and so the DS and I sat down with the committee. As the chair opened the meeting and began to say his piece, the DS interrupted, saying that I had an announcement that perhaps should come at the top of the agenda. When I said that, regretfully (of course), I would be asking to move to stay near Ben, the chair was so upset at being stripped of his moment that he exploded, "How long have you known this?" at the DS. Needless to say, it was a short meeting, and the DS and I left pretty pleased with ourselves.