Staff meetings stink. They really do! Whether you are running them or participating in them they are just not fun! Except mine of course!
The purpose of a staff meeting is to distribute information right. To gather those you work with and make sure everyone is on the same page, update about organizational issues, to bring issues to the table for discussion and hopefully decisions. This week I had the most unusual staff meeting I’ve ever had. Really, in my 25 years of working and staff meetings I’ve never encountered anything like it.
My staff consists of 15 people who attend staff meetings and another 15 or so who are a big part of the organization but not full-time and daily members of the larger organization. Each week we gather and I try really hard to have good information to share or educational topics that will help us all to grow in our jobs. This week we had a guest, Larry Bolden, the creator of an organization called Wellspring. It is a ministry to help people grow deeper in their walk with Christ in a very unique way. Wait, don’t stop reading because I brought up God! Please! You can learn more about Wellspring at a later time. You gotta hear about this staff meeting.
So, Larry leads my staff into a time of sharing, from our heart, our true heart not a false or inauthentic place, but a genuine place. He asked one simple question. (Let me tell you most of us are going through the Wellspring journey at this time. Some are further along than others but there were several at the table who have not experienced Wellspring at all.) The question was, what have the personal/relational benefits of Wellspring been to you? The way Larry set up that one simple question created a safe, authentic space for this staff to share; to be vulnerable, to learn more about each other, and to love each other well.
Staff become an extension of family after a while. So often we spend more time with our coworkers than we do with our chosen families. At times, boundaries are overstepped. Families broken, people broken because of unhealthy work relationships. Just as our families need to have healthy boundaries, so does a staff. At this meeting, all typical business boundaries went down the toilet. All gloves were off. We were a room full of people who genuinely care about each other and showed it! As we shared the ways Wellspring has helped us in our relationships, conversations, communication skills, how to work better with each other, how to understand each other, and how to care for each other, this staff grew closer as a team. We let our guard down long enough to remember we are people, who are important to each other, to God, that we need each other, we need to encourage each other, love each other well. Relationships were healed. People genuinely loved others as Christ models for us, just as the Golden Rule says we should.
This type of meeting took courage. It is not easy to balance friendships and supervisory relationships in the work place. This meeting was dangerous in overstepping unspoken boundaries. It was ok though. It was passionate, affirming, compassionate all at the same time. It was the single meeting in my career that I will reflect on for years to come. It was that special.
Wellspring changes the way you think as a leader. It will change your organization because it will change you. This particular staff meeting changed us. The space to be vulnerable with staff – unheard of! Healing. Relational. Living from your heart. Amazing! If you want to learn more about Wellspring I’m here and a big fan! Love Well. Even your staff!