What Is Going On Here and How Can We Work With It?

March 6, 2017


Successful meetings aren’t all business, focused on content.  Nor are they all pleasure, focused on relationships.  The most productive (and enjoyable) meetings combine both:  focus on what we are doing, as well as how we are being.


In terms of “doing” we want to set goals and meet them.  There is a drive to reach the finish line fast, and get certain things done. 


In terms of “being,” we want to be fully human, and really tune into each other, to connect  at a deep level, and see what we can learn together.  


Here’s the thing to keep in mind (whenever human interaction is involved):   


The quality of our being shapes the quality of our doing.

Focused on being: McMath collapsed meters before the finish line; Vogel let her finish first.  


As facilitators we can find all kinds of opportunities to model being fully present and fully human.  It is essential to carry this intention. We want to practice and keep ourselves fit, like athletes, so we can “be” awake and fully alive in the moment.  The better our fitness for being, the more we are able to observe what is present and recognize options for responding in ways that serve the meeting agenda and the participants.  It is up to us to set a tone that encourages others to show up fully, too.


Last month, our partners at TakeTwo, invited SEED to join them in offering a webinar on “meetings” for the Foundation Center.


You can access the webinar by filling out the form on this page:  www.seedimpact.org/TipOfTheMonth 


The 60-minute webinar explores different types of meetings and four energies that are typically present in meetings:  mover, opposer, supporter and observer.  An exercise is offered so you can practice with your team.


Try it!  It is fun to practice in teams of four.


We promise that with increasing awareness of how these energies operate in group dynamics, everyone can raise their game and function at much higher levels to achieve good things faster. 


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About The Authors

Melinda Lackey is co-founder and director of SEED Impact, which to-date has assisted more than 300 diverse non-profit initiatives to communicate and coordinate action more efficiently, sustain higher performance and achieve greater social impact.


Contact Melinda at   possibilities@seedimpact.org

Barry Kibel, Ph.D., is Director of Innovation and Research at SEED.  He contributes more than five decades of experience devising evaluation and planning instruments to support transformational work.

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