Meetings with a Mission, Part 4: Invite the Right People

Thursday, October 24, 2013

4. Determine who needs to be present.

A meeting with a clear mission will have a clear understanding of who should be present...and who should not.  

In my experience, common sense is so uncommon that it can sometimes be considered a superpower!  When it comes to inviting people to your meeting, common sense says invite only those people who are connected to the items on the agenda.  Here are some helpful questions to ask when trying to sift through the pile of personnel.

  • Did you invite the person whose item made it to the agenda?  Don't forget that part.  And don't neglect them either.  I've been excluded from meetings where an item I needed help with made it to the meeting...without me.  How wierd is that?  If you're thinking of NOT inviting that person to your meeting, then you may be guilting of power-playing or politicking.  That's manipulative and dirty.  You don't want to do that.  You're trying to create an atmosphere where people are valued above profit...or office politics.  The fastest way to demean and devalue a team member is to NOT invite them to a meeting where their concern, issue or question is being discussed.  
  • Which team members are directly connected to the item on the agenda?  The same person whose item made it to the agenda is probably connected to others in regard to that issue, project, problem, or decision.  Those people probably need to be there, too.  But perhaps not all of them.  You will want to invite team members whose connection to that agenda item is arguably and inherently inseparable.  In other words, that thing will never happen or get resolved without those people.  That may also include a supervisor or boss who will need to hold them accountable and offer them support.
  • Which team members do I NOT need to invite?  Yes, it's difficult to ask this, if you're a non-confrontational person.  But you do NOT want people at your meeting who ultimately are not going to be involved in doing or fixing things, no matter how opinionated they are, and no matter how much they'll whine if they're not invited.  This is crucial.  Opinionated people who are not connected to an agenda item will create rabbit trails that divert the meeting's mission.  When that happens, time and money is wasted.  Don't fall for it, no matter how much pressure you feel inwardly or outwardly.  Unless, of course your boss (if you have one) tells you otherwise.
To Do Today:

1.  Pray for those that need to be at the meeting.  God promises in James 1 that He gives a waterfall of wisdom to those who ask, and He does so without finding fault in you for your problems.  He also doesn't find fault in you for any problems that were born on your watch as manager or owner.  He's a gracious God.  Ask Him for help.  Ask Him to bless your team members with wisdom, too.  Remember that God can give wisdom to anyone He chooses, including those who may not be in His family...yet.

2.  Brainstorm (or mindmap) who you're inviting and what personal skills and issues they will bring to the meeting with them.  You want to be prepared to utilize their skills for the meeting's mission and wisely handle their personal issues.  Remember, the goal is to complete the mission for which the meeting is happening.  People's issues are often resolved while completing that mission, especially when you pray and ask God to move in and among their work.  If they want to act out while working on something, God is offering you an opportunity to temporarily make them the mission by loving and helping them.  Pray that God would bless each team member's skills exponentially, and that He would work in their lives with their personal issues to bring them closer to Him.

Read Part 5: Set a Day...That Makes the Most Sense

About the Author: Rob is a follower of Jesus at Jubilee Church, where he works as an entrepreneur and operations contractor in Woodstock, GA. From there he envisions and pursues missional-shaped business for the kingdom. He and his wife Sherri have been married for 19 years and together have three sons and a daughter. Rob believes the mission of the gospel is summed up in four simple phrases: know God, obey Jesus, make disciples, and plant churches. This is the pursuit of his life, as well as the point of his blog.

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