Monday, July 29, 2013

Leadership Through Love - (Chapter 10) "Meetings – Time Manager or Time Waster?" (Steve Martin)

Chapter 10

Meetings – Time Manager or Time Waster?

- Do you really need all those meetings?
- Group or One-On-One?
- Why morning and mid-week?
- Prov. 24:6 “By wise counsel…multitude of counselors"

As the administrator, office manager, administrative assistant, or leader of any size group, have you ever thought of how many hours you have spent in administrative meetings with more than two people? I am sure I have spent more time in meetings than was really necessary.

There are some leaders who just love meetings. They met to discuss the day, the week, the month, the year, and then meet next week to do the same thing. Seems at times that there is more “talk” than “walk”, as meetings consume our time. Though we think we are wisely planning, we may in reality be wasting each others time.

I am not a “meeting” person. (Bet you couldn’t tell!) When given the option of meeting in a larger group, I have more often chosen to communicate one on one than having a group sit around a rectangular board room table talk about things that were talked about last time, and nothing much has happened in between.

Being one who enjoys history, and reading of leaders and their habits, it seems to me that the “modern” executive or leader in the office setting has swung the pendulum too far to the “MEETING” side in communicating. Of course we don’t have all the minutes and details of communications from ages gone by, but I would have to think that more was done “outside of the meeting room” than what occurred within.

Meetings do have a purpose. When discussions need to involve more than two people, due to the responsibilities of each, then of course meetings are necessary. There are certain criteria that I have followed which has helped me in having a good meeting when it was needed.

The first criteria I have had in place is to set the beginning and the ending time of the meeting, so there is no needless dragging on and endless talk, leading nowhere. If you give people more than hour for a meeting, you can almost be assured that they will let the time fill up as allowed.

Most meetings can be accomplished in a half hour. The one calling the meeting needs to have some discussion topics sent to each one coming to the meeting ahead of time. Then each one can gather their thoughts and give them at the appropriate time. Time allowed for discussion between individuals needs to included in the meeting timeline.

As people become accustomed to the shorten time frame, the dialogue is more kept to the topic and thus unnecessary talk is limited. With each knowing ahead of time what will be covered, they had time prior to the gathering to formulate their input, rather than attempting to do it during the time together.

Morning meetings are more preferred than the afternoon time, especially avoided the time right after lunch. Peoples minds are more alert in the mid-morning time than the mid-afternoon. And do you know one of the rather unexpected results of shorter , morning meetings? Drowsiness is curtailed to a minimum! (I had been known to “dream prophetic dreams” during long, boring meetings, especially in the afternoon!)

I also believe that a mid-week meeting is more productive than certainly a Monday or Friday meeting. Weekends, meant to be a “break” for most workers, has now become two of the most busy days in the lives of the typical worker, and thus the weekend off is taking more of a toll on people. No Sabbath time for the typical worker these days is taking its predicted cost. Even many Christians, and especially the administrators and assistants in the church positions, are especially taxed over the weekend, with the one Sunday, and often two, church meetings, and other church gatherings that typically take place on the Saturday or Sunday “day off”..

One on one times with individual staff members not only gets more accomplished with the quality time, but the staff member has more of an opportunity to share their real thoughts, desires, and feedback more honestly. Without the pressure of having to, or wanting to, impress co-workers in a group meeting, they can express their thoughts and feelings more directly to their supervisor. It also prevents the one or two dominant personalities from overtaking a meeting.

Proverbs 24:6 states “By wise counsel…in the multitude of counselors.” I apply this verse not only in my spiritual life, but also in the business of ministry. Surrounding yourself with good staff, who have different gifts and skills than what you as the administrator has, not only makes good business sense, but also lets you hear the mind of the Lord when needing to make those everyday, and also critical decisions.

Steve Martin
Love For His People, Inc.

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Note: To read the Intro, Chapter Listings and first nine chapters, please use the Search Box in the top right hand corner of this Blog, and enter "Leadership Through Love." Be blessed in your reading!

Leadership Through Love

Chapter Listings

1.      A Gift for His Purposes

- The Early Years
- On the job training

2.      Use the Tools You Have, But Not the Staff

- Treasure the people, while digging the foundations
- Do unto them as you would…
- Bless and curse not: honor those who serve with you

3.      Right Man (or Woman!) for the Job

- All are created equal – make the most of this!
- If the Shoe Fits, Have Them Wear It

4.      Train and Let Loose

- It IS Who You Know and Are Known By
- Hire To Complement Your Strengths
- if you are weak, then they are strong
- Outsource as needed

5.      Burn Candles At Both Ends? – NOT!

- Rest and Sabbath Days
- Mornings with the Lord
- Trust in Him at all times
- We all are given 24 hours each day

6.       The Visionaries Need You!

-          They dream it - you make it happen
-          It takes a team
-          Head Won’t Get Far without the Neck
(or heads will roll)
7.      Field Trips and More!

- Staff Retreats
- Party Time!
- Birthdays and BBQs
- After Hours

8.      It Doesn’t All Depend On You

- The Lord is the Rock – Not You
- Whose strength  - yours or His?
   - Key Staff to Lean On
    - Trustworthy managers and assistants

9.      Practically Speaking…and Walking

- Handle each piece of paper once
- File so you can find it!
- Early morning – before the others come
- Take a Break

10.  Meetings – Time-manger or Time-waster?

- Do you really need all those meetings?
- Group or One-On-One?
- Why Morning and Mid-Week?
 - Prov. 24:6 “By wise counsel…multitude of counselors

11.  Acknowledge Him in All Your Ways

- Heart of Thankfulness
- Heart of Worship
- Heart of Service

12.  Another Man’s Vineyard

-          Follow & help fulfill their vision
-          Faithful with another’s
-          Learn and growth until your time
-          The proper way of moving on

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Thanks for sharing. Blessings on your head from the Lord Jesus, Yeshua HaMashiach.

Steve Martin
Love For His People
Charlotte, NC USA