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Call me and we’ll meet: Library Day in the Life, Days 3 and 4 (and counting)

January 28, 2011 Comments off

The second half of this week has been all about one thing really. Meetings. And more meetings. Some people love them. others detest them. But one thing is certain: They are inevitable.

The calls and emails began in earnest on Tuesday and spilled into Wednesday. “Mark your calendars.” “Would you be available to meet on…?” “We need to schedule a meeting.”

So Wednesday became the day of reckoning scheduling and rescheduling. All these meetings needed to be coordinated like an elaborate dance, and everything was converging on the backside of this week. It was amazing how much time I spent on this on Wednesday.

And then came Thursday and the beginning of the meet-a-thon. As a result, I spent much of the day in meetings (and the same will be true for Friday).

That pretty much sums up my Library Day in the Life activity for the rest of the week.

How do you feel about meetings? Do you run to them with enthusiasm or do run away screaming, “My name is Neo!” Whether you like them or not, meetings are a part of life. And there’s a smorgasbord of types:

  • The long-planned, well-crafted agenda type
  • The hastily-called
  • The marathon
  • The speed meeting
  • The “all hands on deck” variety
  • The one-on-one
  • And everything in between, including my personal favorite

If it sounds like I am not a fan of meetings, that’s not really the case. Meetings are not bad in and of themselves. They can be productive and even enjoyable. Indeed, one of Wednesday’s meetings was time with the library staff that I have been looking forward to for a while. Our opinion of and reaction to meetings has a lot to do with our perceptions and attitude. When I enter a meeting with a negative preconception, I usually leave that meeting feeling the exact same way and pining the loss of time. Not good. On the other hand, when I go into a meeting expecting to accomplish something valuable with others, there is a much better chance that I will walk away with an upward attitude about the whole experience. “Upward attitude” doesn’t always mean that I will have enjoyed the experience, but it does mean that I will have valued the experience. I genuinely dislike going to the dentist, but I do it without complaining because I understand the value of doing so. Upward attitude.

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A Tale of Impromptu Meetings

October 14, 2010 1 comment

 


CC image by elaine faith

 

I have added them up, and over the last five weeks I have participated in 23 meetings. Twenty-three. Do the math and that comes out to an average of nearly one meeting per workday. Of them all, one of the most beneficial was meeting #23 that I had yesterday afternoon–and it never appeared on my calendar.

The “meeting” was an unplanned spontaneous conversation with a fellow faculty member that took place in a parking lot. What started out as an ordinary exchange of greetings turned into a valuable discourse about a topic of interest (I learned) to both of us and of importance to our institution. A short 15 minutes later we were parting company with great ideas and tangible action items to carry out.

Boom. Just like that. Productivity. And it was not on my schedule when I woke up that morning.

The moral of the story? Don’t underestimate the value of impromptu meetings. They may be the most productive things that you never see coming.

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Categories: Stories, Workplace Tags: ,