10 ways to have a happy meeting

Many of us belong to a group that ‘meets’.
A PTA, a sports group, a committee, a knitting group and goodness even a family.

Here is a friendly, short list of ways to have a happy meeting or group:

1) Make an agreement that all ideas/changes can be temporary, and will be reviewed.

2) Have a yes let’s attitude or culture.
If you need to say no, come up with an alternative idea/solution and be prepared to action that. Consider ‘your’ no very mindfully if you don’t have the intention to action a alternative plan. You may not ‘like’ the suggestion, but can you live with it?

3) Communicate gratitude to people for who they are being, what they are giving, what they are doing.
Observe people, acknowledge people. Know that not all people can be leaders, or in positions of responsibility. We need some people to ‘just show up’ in order for other people to ‘lead’. Yin/Yang.

4) Ask ourselves – why am i doing this?
Am i doing this because i genuinely want to? Am i doing this because i am a people pleaser and i need to seek people’s approval or i need people to like me? Am i doing this cos i feel i HAVE to? Own our choices. When we feel free to make choices whether it’s a YES or a NO, we allow others to make an authentic choice also and vice versa if we feel pushed into making a choice, we may push others into one. Being a perfectionist doesn’t mean we escape shame, blame or disapproval. If you are having trouble choosing, ask someone to ask you e.g. Emily gets Husband to ask her: Emily, do you want to go to the blah blah fundraiser this Saturday night?

5) Know everyone is doing the best they can do, in this moment.
Only ‘i’ can know what’s best or right for me, in any one moment. It’s not up to another to decide what’s right or wrong, doable or not, reasonable or unreasonable for me. Listen to people. See people. Respect people’s wishes.

6) I am i. You are you. It’s okay to be different.
Don’t take what another person says or does personally. We are all unique, no one can possibly understand or meet our needs. We need to meet our own needs. What other people think of you in none of your business.

7) The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result according to Albert Einstein.
Sometimes a person’s commitment or action doesn’t need to change, but a system needs to change i.e. if there is a repetitive problem within the working of a group e.g. most people arrive late, perhaps the start time needs to be adjusted or there needs to be motivation to arrive on time, or it needs to be addressed why people are reluctant to come.

8) Talk WITH people not ABOUT people.
Even though it’s terrifying for people to talk to the person or people that have had a hand in their disappointment or hurt or anger, a culture where people are talking behind people’s backs, is unhealthy and can be felt by the whole group. Be brave, be peaceful, value yourself, value your group and voice your concerns, feelings. Talk about the feeling rather than texting, emailing, writing – at some point you’re going to have to look that person in the eye. When we talk and put breath behind our words we face those words. We can write sometimes with too much push or the written word can be perceived as concrete. Resolution is aided when we can sense and share vulnerability, or softness, or humility, or humanity. Go slow and keep communication simple. Don’t be in a hurry to find a resolution, it may take many attempts, maybe even months or years. Be patient. Focus on communicating how ‘i feel’, rather than laying blame, or asking someone to take responsibility. Focus on finding a compromise or a way to be, for the future. Allow each person to have their experience, their emotion, their feeling. No one is ‘silly’, no feeling is ‘unreasonable’. There’s nothing to fix. We simply need to listen and to empathise. When we hear and see each other, and take away the need to be right or wrong, we can find our shared humanity and possibly re-connect. Read Non-Violent Communication by Marshall B Rosenburg.

9) Make amends. If we ‘hurt’ another intentionally or unintentionally, ask ‘how can i make this better for you, for us?’

10) Know we are the model. How we BE is contagious? If we are calm, humble, can show our vulnerability, our fallibility the other person may mirror us. In terms of our children, they learn by what we do or how we be, rather than what we say. There’s a difference between shouting ‘calm down’ with terror in our eyes and saying ‘calm down’ with a gentle, slow, relaxed voice and face.

Go well. Be courageous. Be kind (to everyone which includes you). Be you-nique.

Written by Emily Marks from wild & grace

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