This is a bit unusual for me: I’ve got a rant today. It’s just got to be said.
Over the past several weeks we’ve talked about personal productivity a lot here on Talking Story.
It had started with our June Ho‘ohana, ‘Opala ‘ole and getting to be “without the rubbish.” We spoke of clearing the clutter from our lives so we would have the ability to better capture and capitalize on our opportunities.
We’ve talked about the misnomer of “time management.” Time being a finite thing, the best you can do is live every moment to the fullest, with complete mindfulness and intent.
So perhaps this is why I’ve found myself getting particularly restless at some of my recent speaking engagements. Okay, restless is a bit of an understatement: I feel like my head will burst and I’ll start screaming at people.
You see, I’m often asked to speak somewhere within the agenda of “normally scheduled” meetings, and thus I’m able to witness how they are conducted AND attended. It continues to drive me crazy to see how people are willing to sit through routine meetings that are stuck on automatic pilot, failing to see that a BIG reason the meeting is so boring is that they are so passive in their attendance: They make little or no attempt to participate.
Never mind volunteering, they don’t even attempt to capitalize on having the floor when they are fully expected to speak. They are completely willing to sit there like dead wood, and allow the meeting to be boring because they are unprepared, unengaged, and THEY are boring. It’s all I can do to keep myself in check, and not to walk up to some people and say, Hello, are you awake? Why in heaven are you even here?
When I witness meetings like this and I’m to speak at the end of them, it takes a supreme amount of effort for me to give the speech I’d prepared to give. My instinct is to chuck it, slip right back into my old corporate exec role, and start coaching everyone right out of their comfort zones and into full transformational engagement.
For instance, if you attend one of those meetings where at some point the facilitator asks, “Does anyone else have any updates they’d like to share?” SAY something. You should have some update to give that will make that meeting worth your valuable time and everyone else’s too. You should be remarkable, make a significant value-packed contribution which is memorable, and make it count BIG time. There are no bench warmers in vibrant, dynamic businesses destined to make a difference in our world, enabling everyone within them to prosper.
I know that clueless facilitators are part of the problem in bad meetings, and just stay tuned, at the rate this keeps happening in my experiences visiting your workplaces they’ll get their turn, but for today’s rant my focus is on YOU when you are a participant. Own up to YOUR responsibility in the whole affair. Seize your opportunity to speak up, communicate, and collaborate. Make something happen!
If you don’t respect and value your own time, making every moment of it count, don’t expect others to either.
What’s this about?