Why should you be concerned with the concept of hospitality thinking about conducting a staff meeting? Isn’t it part of the cost of doing business? Shouldn’t people realize meetings are a "necessary evil" we must endure to achieve a coordinated professional community? Won’t the "good people" already understand these things and be mature about them?
Even though we would like to think that all the above questions don’t need to be addressed, if we take a look at the typical morning that characterizes the day of a highly effective person we see that they are, in reality, legitimate and valid questions.
6:30 a.m. Highspeed wakes up, gets dressed, munches down a protein bar while heading out the door to his vehicle.
6:45 a.m. Highspeed arrives at the gym and push through the morning routine. Today is a "mix day" 1/4 weight training 3/4 aerobic.
7:15 a.m. Highspeed showers, dresses and heads to the office.
7:30 a.m. Highspeed arrives at work 30 minutes "early" in order to actually get some work started before the daily stream of visitors begin stopping by.
8:50 a.m. Every thing in Highspeed’s day comes to a screeching halt for a "brief" impromptu staff meeting.
How do we reconcile our knowledge that working closely as a community helps staff members focus on critical issues, to the fact that meetings can be a stumbling block to the self motivated individuals like Highspeed above?
First there are some givens that we must keep in the forefront of our awareness.
- Unnecessary meetings don’t build community.
- Unnecessary meetings build resentment.
- Unnecessary meetings are often held because it is Tuesday, rather than because there is a need.
On the other hand, when a meeting is truly necessary, it can have some powerful benefits. This is especially the case when meetings are designed to enhance the purpose of the group and contributes to the accomplishment of the mission. Meetings of this type are easily identified both by the method in which they are conducted and the "feeling" the participants take away from the meeting.
Well guided gatherings have the following characteristics of hospitality.
- They build a sense of continuity.
- They maintain a connection within the group.
- The host provides attendees with a true vision of this direction.
- The what next, the why,and the how are elements of a productive meeting that every member must be familiar comfortable with in advance.
A good meeting host knows the aspect of a meeting which embodies the feeling of professional hospitality.
These aspects can be nurtured by insuring that:
- Copies are prepared in advance.
- It is important than an agenda is shared advance.
- The agenda is followed.
- Time limits are honored.
- Courtesy is the norm observed by all group members.
It is frustrating to dynamic workers when they are required to sit around a meeting room while someone goes out to make copies, a point is beleaguered beyond need or the honor of respect is not shared to all.
As a final note we must remember that group members welcome time with their leaders to discuss the direction work relative to the destination of the community. Appreciate this connection and don’t unfairly exploit it.
Guest Author: Reg Adkins of Faith Based Counseling.
As a note of introduction, Reg recently inspired me to create a post — and a weekend learning project — on www.ManagingWithAloha.com that included a glimpse into my private journal, something I do not often do on my blogs. I love the premise of elemental truths shared on Reg’s blog, and my own posting had pointed to one of Reg’s articles that remains a favorite of mine: Sources, Nudges and Elemental Truths.