I’ve recently been reminded, after a busy few weeks of meetings, just how powerful face-to-face meetings really are. The energy that exudes from people is infectious. Extremely engaging conversations around a table have motivated me to want to leave and do big things (all the meetings have been positive of course!).
Nothing, even social media and the most slickest of technology platforms, will replace the spark that is created in face-to-face meetings.
[Or.. it could also just be because this new mama loves getting out of the house to be around a table of adults sans baby, to discuss big ideas…. it gets me all energized and amped-up!]
One of the things I love best about being in meetings is when you’re in a room with not necessarily like-minded people, but people who are similarly as passionate as you are about a topic. Hearing their different opinions and how they formulate their thought process is so valuable. Watching and listening to them express themselves has provided a whole other perspective to learn how to see the other side of an issue. I think this is a skill that is becoming obsolete in today’s society, don’t you think? #Empathy #Understanding
What is the quote? “The path to gaining respect is paved with knowledge and empathy.”
I also love how people around the table act as catalysts of inspiration for others. Hearing others share their ideas so passionately both through their words, their body language and their voice in person gets at me in a different way then watching people over a device for a meeting.
You can see it in people’s aggressive head nods or that glimmer in their eye when you’re discussing a topic, idea or issue that has really moved the table. The meetings I’ve been at recently, we’ve been able to productivity talk through issues, come up with solutions and brainstorm new ideas. These are things that are hard to do online when you’re on a Skype call or teleconference line, where you feel isolated.
As an example, at a recent meeting, an older gentleman shared his progressive, forward thinking ideas when he, so deeply and eloquently, imparted a line that stood out to me:
“Experience doesn’t make you look forward, it always makes you look back.”
It was one of those ‘ah-ha’ moments.
I was reminded in the moment that you don’t have to be a millennial to think young (yes, there are baby boomers out there who are forward thinking and young at heart, millennials!). Social media couldn’t have provided that type of moment for me to learn and understand from someone like this. It was a brilliant thought from someone who clearly had years of experience and wisdom.
I realize technology allows for more convenience, especially from the comfort of your own home or office desk, but the next time you have the option, seriously consider bringing your team in or suggesting face-to-face.
Yes, meetings be long, feel daunting (while your emails pile up!) and something we all sometimes dread, especially if the moderator or Chair doesn’t run an effective meeting by staying on time and on task with agenda items #petpeeve, but I guarantee, almost every time afterwards, you’ll feel good about the shared energy that came from a positive and productive face-to-face meeting.