“I don’t have anything to share.” WHAT? You have nothing to share? You’ve come to a meeting focused on sharing and you have nothing to share? Are you serious? After two meetings of hearing that again and again yesterday I got just a wee bit frustrated. The whole point of a sharing meeting is to share. Here are some tips to help you attend these kinds of meetings.
Remember first that you are a person with tons of value. You have knowledge, wisdom and experiences that no one else has. And your perspective of that is unique. Sit up taller, roll your shoulders back and be confident (or fake it til you make it).
Second, consider there can be many benefit of a sharing meeting. You as well as others in the room learn more, have more options and therefore increase effectiveness of you work. Just like creativity flows when a lot of colors are made available to an artist, the more voices into the room allow for more creativity in your community. And synergy happens when energy is put into the room. Sitting back, arms crossed, head down mumbling “I have nothing to share” creates none of that.
Finally, organizations run better, services are provided better to clients and employees feel more connected and supported when they network and build relationships. In order to build relationships, people need to get to know you, the type of worker you are, your passions and interests. Sharing helps others to get to know you. It shows that you value putting in as well as taking out of the joint bucket. It demonstrates a willingness to be open, honest and real. And honestly, if you ever want to change jobs, partner or access services what a great venue to flaunt your stuff for other agencies.
Here are some ideas of things to share at a sharing meeting
1) Events going on in your organization
2) Staffing changes, office moves, program updates
3) Challenges with clients, programs and services
4) Training that you’ve recently taken
Those are the routine ones…now get creative…
5) Accolades to other agencies, workers, your own employees about work they’ve done
6) A good book you’ve read related to the field – Bonus points if you offer to lend it to anyone who wants
to borrow it
7) A great resource, website or tool you’ve found that worked well
8) A story of success with a client
9) An inspirational quote that gets everyone thinking, motivated and jazzed
10) A place that you have really grown or learned lately and how you did that
Sharing for some takes courage. Practice what you plan to share ahead of time and be prepared. The value of sharing at sharing meetings can’t be understated. It’s a two way street and everyone need to put their input in.
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