It’s Monday, take no prisoners


Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.

–  American author and educator Dale Carnegie was born on this day in 1888 (died 1955)

It’s Monday of Thanksgiving week which means it will be a short work week.  The weather has warmed and after a good bit of rain overnight it’s a balmy 64 degrees in my corner of the world.

Don’t get comfortable with that.

Weather experts are telling us that snow is coming to Virginia on Wednesday.  That’s the day,of course, when most of us are traveling.  We’ll get the dog to the kennel.  Confirm things with the house/cat sitter.  Then head west to the mountains.  More on that later this week.

For today, I’m off to yet another work training.  Yes, it gets to be in a park.  No, I don’t get to be outside.  I actually get to be a part of the training today as co-workers and I are “teaching back” the material we have learned (or, hopefully learned).  Then we’ll scatter across the state and conduct training sessions with other co-workers.

It’s good stuff.  Of course I’ve got the usual jitters.  I was a bit too tired/distracted last night to really study the material.  I’m still looking for one specific reference in a stack of paperwork.

It will be a full day.

And, as happens so often when attending trainings or board meetings, at some point in the day someone will say “we have a lot to cover.”

When you get to a conference or a meeting and the leader or chairman says “we’ve got a lot to cover” My general thought is that “you should have planned better.”

This is not directed specifically at today’s training.  I’ve seen the material.  It’s good stuff.

But I dread hearing those words “a lot to cover.”  It means that the facilitator or board chair will endeavor to rush through more material than can logically be covered in that meaning.  It means that breaks will be few, far between, and short.

I’ve got over thirty years’ experience in planning and conducting meetings.  Reality is that hat the average backside can only absorb so much information before it zones out.  In other words, we have to get up frequently to stretch, to go to the restroom, to refocus.

It doesn’t matter how brilliant your material is, a four hour policy discussion (and yes, I’ve been in them) with no breaks is far less efficient than a three hour session with time outs.

Not sure who I’m preaching to here or whether I’m just ranting.  The people who need to see this won’t.  Or, if they do, they’ll say “he’s not talking about my meeting.”  Because, after all their meeting is important.

To which I’ll say, “you should have planned better.”

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