Speaking of Talking…

So yesterday our leadership team spent the day in an off-site meeting. The goal was to address potential silos creeping up in the organization because of our rapid growth and to unify around a common “thematic objective” for the coming quarter or more. But that’s not what I’m going to write about today.

I like to talk. I’m good at it, actually, and those two things have helped me greatly in my career and in getting noticed, etc. But in a strategic meeting the ideas need to be flowing and the variety of perspectives have to come out. And so while I chafe at a minute or two of silence when everyone is collecting thoughts, especially when I already think I know where we should be heading, I need to be quiet when I’m the facilitator.

In the past I’ve totally stunk at that. And yesterday, I’m happy to report, I at least stunk less than usual. And the results were that we had some really good, broad input on a variety of issues, and I think we came away from the meeting with much better results than we would have if I’d done more talking.

That’s not always the case, of course, but it’s good to see it happen because it reinforces my need to step back, facilitate, and let others step into the silence with ideas and thoughts as we develop a plan together. And it was encouraging to me to see some real change in that area of my life and to see it paying off with others having some fantastic thoughts that may not have come out if I’d been pushing more or filling in too many gaps myself.

I spent the time driving over to the meeting in prayer, and I’m sure that God was working there for us. I’m also sure that the changes over the long haul that I’m seeing in my own ability to stop talking when it’s needed and to encourage others to participate.

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