I work for a big company – and a job at a big company often entails a lot of meetings. Usually the meetings I attend are fine, but nothing too exceptionally noteworthy or extra-special. They’re just a routine part of doing business.
Today, however, I had a meeting that was terrific. It reminded me of what is possible, not just what is ordinary or ‘expected’, in a meeting.
Why was today’s meeting so great? A variety of actions made it so:
- The person with whom I met came to our meeting prepared. She had specific items she wanted to get through, written down. She came with an agenda.
- Yet, she also came to the meeting with an open mind, and with an attitude of flexibility. Yes, she knew what she wanted to accomplish; but she also left space for spontaneity, even serendipity.
- She was interested in both speaking and listening; she was very willing to share her ideas, but also equally interested in hearing mine.
- We both worked during the meeting. We didn’t make a task list of things to finish once the meeting ended; instead, we completed tasks together, on the spot, right there. It was truly a working meeting. It was productive.
- In order to get tasks actually done, the other person and I both had to be focused. And we were. And yet, we still also kidded and joked and laughed (literally, laughed out loud) during our time together. Focused doesn’t have to mean dry, or boring, or stoic; it just means pay enough attention, long enough, to actually get some things done. But fun can exist amid the focus, too – and it did.
- We ended the meeting 11 minutes early! Which may not seem like a lot, but in the big-company world, is a big deal.
As an introvert, lots of meetings in a work day can deplete my vigor; but this one energized me. Work was fun in a unique way today.