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Leadership Lesson: The “Art” of Intentional and Purposeful Meetings by Carolyn Kazdan, MHSA, NHA

November 2, 2020

COVID-19 has resulted in any number of additional meetings to what can already be meeting packed days; emergency preparedness meetings, pandemic response meetings, virtual meetings to stay connected to staff working remotely. Now more than ever, leaders are faced with significant operational challenges to address and reduced resources and time for collaborative work. Author Priya Parker in her book “The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters” provides leaders with tips and strategies that help ensure that we don’t gather in ways that don’t service us or miss opportunities to connect when we ought to. And it starts with committing to a bold, sharp purpose. read more

How often have you experienced a day with back-to-back meetings which left you thinking that you or your team could have been more productive if some of the meetings had been replaced with an email or a brief stand-up meeting?

Parker ‘s recommendations for determining your meeting’s true purpose is to move the what to the why

  1. Zoom out to think about what you really what to accomplish
  2. Drill down by taking the reasons you think you are gathering and keep drilling below them. Keep asking why until you hit a belief or a value
  3. Define the problem you are trying to solve
  4. Reverse engineer an outcome: Think of what you want to be different because you gather, and work backward from that outcome

Parker suggests that meeting organizers or hosts make purpose their bouncer. Let the meeting purpose decide what goes into your meeting or gathering and what stays out.

Quite possibly we do not have time to be this intentional about every meeting during this challenging time. We can however, keep these strategies in mind before we add a new meeting to a packed calendar!

To dig deeper into the art of gathering, listen to author Priya Parker on the Good Life Project podcast. https://www.goodlifeproject.com/podcast/priya-parker-the-art-of-gathering/

The Art of Gathering, How We Meet and Why It Matters, author Priya Parker. Riverhead Books, New York 2018