We hosted an Open Space conversation recently on Meetings That Matter, and checking in, one of us found ourselves saying we haven’t been in a bad meeting for some years.
Of course that raised some doubt amongst others, and deep curiosity. How can this be?
Perhaps it’s not strictly true. Sometimes we get frustrated,things get stuck, and we feel discomfort, and this is life.
How we each show up to a meeting really matters, and can influence our and others too. And we’ve learned to let a lot go in service of a fruitful shared experience.
If we have a voice in how meetings are held, then usually they are pretty satisfying and engaging.
Meetings are such a potential pain point in organisations, teams and communities - wherever people gather.
Meetings can also be a powerful way to shift the way we do things - to build stronger relationships and get things done.
Change the chairs, change the conversation
One of the biggest transformations, and challenges in reinventing the way we meet, is to make it participatory! If not every voice is contributing, and it’s just sharing information from a few sources, then take it offline. Nobody loves to be in meetings where they are bored, disengaged, or feel like it was a waste of time.
With a lot of practice, the members in Campfire Coop know what to do when things get stuck - we try something different, we shift things around, we pay attention to what’s needed in the moment, and let things go that are not needed.
And, if we do show up to a meeting that’s clearly no longer needed, or it’s not the right time, we can quickly agree to shift it together.
It takes practice, practice, practice and our meetings are often being sharpened and changed and sometimes dropped, as needed.
Knowing that meetings are always adapted for context, purpose, outcomes and people, we’re sharing here how most of our meetings go - whether they are internal, or those with partners and collaborators or people we are supporting.
It’s not the way, it’s a way. Adapt for your needs, and practice. Even if it’s experimenting with one thing, we encourage you to give it a go. Have a little fun!
We know our meeting practices are about to get a lift. Meetings is one of the 7 Going Horizontal domains of practice, along with decision making, autonomy, purpose and more.
Join us and Percolab Canada members Samantha Slade and Lori Palano in Australia for Going Horizontal labs Campfire members at our final connector meeting for the and workshops this February. year - silly hats as our talking piece
Learn about Campfire Coop’s Meetings That Matter
Illustration from the book Going Horizontal by Samantha Slade.
Get in touch if you want to know more, or learn how to transform your meeting practices.