Meeting Etiquette: How to Attend the Present

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I’m a pastor, which basically means that through any given week I have a series of meetings with other pastors from around the city. To be honest, it’s one of my passions and joys: I always feel fulfilled as I meet with men who challenge me and have a similar passion for my craft. However, there are a series of things that I’ve had to improve on as I’ve attended meetings over the years (and I’m honestly still working on some of them!).

Whether you’re a pastor meeting with other pastors, or just a friend meeting other friends, these points can be applied to any meeting. With time management being so difficult during this age of now, the better we get as time managers the more we will get from our meetings. For me, it begins with a simple thought. Don’t attend meetings. Don’t attend functions. Attend the present, no matter what the present has to offer.

Here are some brief points that I think are important in order to live in the present.

  1. Arrive on time. Punctuality is a huge issue in our culture. There are so many demands on our schedule that it’s difficult to arrive on time to the next demand. But if it was a meeting that you set up, you would want people to arrive on time . . . so return the favor with punctuality. Michael Hyatt gives helpful points on this topic of margin.
  2. Share and share alike. Meetings only work if there’s cooperation. If you still expect everyone else to make contributions while you sit idly by, then perhaps cooperation is an area in which you need growth. Consider that, and make a better effort.
  3. Check your ego at the door. It always amazes me how much talent and experience I find in a room when I start asking questions. Everyone has gifts to offer–including you! So check your ego at the door and appreciate what others have to offer. Contribute and receive.
  4. Take your voice. Conversations are a long-lost art. Is it me does every “conversation” revolve around weather and traffic? If you’re interested in learning how to communicate better, I suggest this article by counselor Debra Fileta. It’s short and informative.
  5. Take your agenda. If you know anything about sports, then you know that every game counts. Similarly, every meeting matters. (No, it may not matter as much as another, but still…it matters.) Take your agenda and get something accomplished.
  6. Isolate the moment. Too often we are attending one meeting in body but another one in spirit. We do this by sitting in a meeting but scrolling Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram; reviewing our calendar; or sending people texts who have nothing to do with our present engagement. Isolate the moment. If you can’t, review number 1.

Blessings,

Joe

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