I give good meeting.
My meetings are interactive, dynamic, energetic and fun. My goal is to stimulate thinking, creating shared goals and consensus through a good balance of work and play.
To me, meetings are only useful if they are transformative. If you don’t feel stimulated to think in a new, creative and connected way, the meeting has just been a briefing. Briefings are great, of course, a moment to catch people up, to get them up to speed on the current situation, but they are not, at least to me, meetings.
To make a great meeting, there needs to be energy, momentum, flow. If your mind isn’t caught in the continuing story, isn’t participating in thought, then you are just barely there. If you aren’t surprised or challenged regularly, you may as well not be in the room.
I believe in the divine surprise, that moment when scales drop away and we see things in a fresh, new way. Being present really counts and if the person who has the floor doesn’t understand that, chasing minds away with boredom, then they waste the most powerful energy you can ever have in the room.
It is the tussle, the back and forth, the vitality that makes a good meeting. I once told a boss that meetings brought out the best in me and she was a little taken aback because she was used to me being sharp in meetings, but when she thought about it, she understood why that sharpness was exactly what engaged my creativity.
You can’t really have a meeting with just one person because it is very difficult to surprise yourself. Connections don’t really pop when you have been there before.
I suppose that to me, writing is the closest thing I can have to a one person meeting because the very process of having to clothe your beliefs in symbols, to wrap them in language, allows you to see and understand them in ways you didn’t before. I write to discover what is inside me, write for revelation and clarity.
I would be a liar, a hypocrite, or a fool – and I’m not any of those – to say that I don’t write for the reader. I do. But for the reader who hears, who really will work at it, going behind what I seem to say. So I write for myself and that reader who will pay the dues.
— Maya Angelou
That commitment to process which lets us be present in the moment, rather than wishing we were someplace else, is at the heart of flow.
Once we start looking for reasons why we are not good enough, why this moment is not good enough, why this world is not good enough we will easily find them. We live in a world of trade-offs and compromises where perfection is impossible.
If we look for reasons to engage, though, look for divine surprises that we can gain in this moment, delightful challenges that stimulate our thinking and open our eyes, we can usually easily find them, too. It is finding what we weren’t looking for that makes our lives fresh and compelling, not just seeing what we expect to see.
Mothers, when they are paying attention, are continually surprised by their children. The surprises may not always be pleasant, but the a life of being open to surprise is a life of being open to delight.
I miss meetings. I miss the energy that they release, focus and harness. I miss the life.